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Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2018 with funding from 
Duke University Libraries 


Sr kTv 



Fall, 1972 

Box 4665 D. S„ Durham, N. C. 27706. 684-2364 

editor anne dantzler assistant editor (& poetry editor) thorn price prose editor 
dave chandler assistant prose editor tom noland art editor weesa plyler 
photography editor dave darling contributions editor gali hagel people editors 
chris mayfield pat mcnellis business manager liz ansley ad manager sammy 
bearman ad layout dave birkhead literary editors prose mike breen barry lee 
chris mayfield randy smith libby trusler literary editors poetry diana brenna 
dalby chandler mike ellsworth nathan goldman andy hicks donna landry bill 
marquess pat mcnellis debbie mow waiter putnam lynne sturm barbara 
twombly joe ullman arts editor leigh ablondi alice ammerman Winnie hinson 
kathy white magazine concept & design editors diana brenna tom coleman 
gali hagel kathy harward winnie hinson kathy white advice assistance tea & 
sympathy william cranford kirk ridge jan martell dave birkhead cathy perillo 
ed harrison harry stokes w. k. stars peaches rigsbee rees & reeder 




73 LEIGH ABLONDI, Charcoal Drawing. 

46 ANDREW ANGYAL, Early Connecticut Spring, 


Each Day. 

67 ROBERT BAIRD, Recognition in Empty Normality. 

51 LYDIA BANKS, Coloring Book. 

44 DAVID BOGER, poems from currents of a wind. 

66 DAOUD CHORO, Credo. 

30 DENNIS COATES, The Sixth Day, 

36 Nightcap. 

70 JAMES L. S. COBB, The Last Lonely Ego. 



29 LINDA FORE, Charcoal Drawing. 

10 C. GRAVES, 


64 S. J. FREEDMAN, My Name, 

65 Crusade. 

15 R. HACKEL. 

45 RUTH HARDEE, the robin ran out. 

63 WINNIE HINSON, doodles. 

22 MARY HOOK, Shado w Dra wing. 

52 CRALE D. HOPKINS, Two Poems. 

40 TOM HOUSE, in may. 

37 GOLDI IRANI, The night before exam. 

6 JOCK IRELAND, Viggs, Recalled. 

58 MICHAEL KENNA, A Strong Sadness, 

59 Spring Tide, 

60 Mr. Lotty. 



23 BARRY LEE, A Part of a Whole. 

17 BRUCE KUNIHOLM, Montreal, 

18 A poem not written, Atropos, 

19 The Wrestler from Aleppo. 

38 PAT McNELLIS, Two Poems. 


35 STEVE MILLER, Untitled Print, 

69 Untitled Print. 

81 WEESA PLYLER, Carolina Rose. 

43 POOR A L L OF US, poorallofus. 

50 THOM PRICE, The Blue-Eyed Lady Photographer. 

61 BEN REYNOLDS, For Cyn, 

62 After I'd Watched the Kansases 

Dream. of tfie World Sprout, 


57 KEN SHIFRIN, For You. 

39 HELEN SMITH, Woodcut. 

49 SUSAN TIFFT, Picasso's Blues. 

4 DONALD YATES, Horror Flicks. 

14 M. T. YOUNGS. 

53 KAREN ZAMAN, Medley of a Metronome. 


Horror Flicks 

The first victim is left to die after 
Grotesque orthopedics with a pipe wrench. 

Infant vivisection gets a close-up 
Of the tiny, bleeding fists as they clench 
In pain. A touch of sex with a grossly 
Mangled nude, and the vampire lingers 
To chop up her boyfriend. Having eaten. 

He picks his teeth with his bloody fingers 
The maiden schoolteacher goes to bed; both 
Your hands fly to your eyes as the meat-axe 
Comes down. Your morally offended hands 
Close it out. But you still peep through the cracks. 



Viggs, Recalled 

I called him “Viggs.” Others called him “Gilles.” If they had 
occasion to call him at all. So long as that occasion weren’t for 
calling him in a nasty way. Calling him “that,” or “pig,” or “fat 
pig.” Mothers had occasion to call him “that.” 

Walking down a sidewalk, mothers could see Viggs’ face: 
bashed severely by baseball bats; or his ear, the left one, 
elephant size, fluttering in the breeze; or his belly. They would 
cross the street to the safe sidewalk or turn and run. Young in 
arms. Saying, “If that...pause ...that...pause...if that ever trys 
to...pause...get affectionate...breath, to the little boys...kick the little girls...bite it...pause, shaking...and run straight 
home.” With the result that the little boys threw stones at Viggs 
and the little girls screamed “pig,” or “fat pig” and ran, not 
always home. 

This is not to say that the little boys confined themselves to 
stones and did not, on occasion, throw twigs, nor that the little 
girls abuse was all oral, nor anything else. 

And this is to say nothing of Viggs’ surprise appearances. 
When he might appear hanging from some maple or palm, like a 
Christmas decoration, by his curious legs. When he might fall, 
like a coconut, and hang across the alleys. 

Perhaps to be called “Gilles” is to be called in a nasty way. 
Perhaps, to be called “Viggs” is to be called in a nasty way; 
more nasty than “Gilles,” “Gilles” more than “that,” or “pig,” 
or “fat pig:” nasty, nasty; or more nasty than “that,” or “pig,” 
or “fat pig” “that,” or “pig,” or “fat pig” more than Gilles:” 


O lO ( 

v ss- 'SCojA*. Ip 

\<\12]13~ \H13f 74 . 

nasty, nasty; or more nasty than “that,” or “pig,” or “fat pig,” 
but less than “Gilles:” nasty; or more than “Gilles,” but less 
than “that,” or “pig,” or “fat pig:” nasty; or less than “Gilles,” 
“Gilles” less than “that,” or “pig,” or “fat pig;” or less than 
“that,” or “pig,” or “fat pig,” “that,” or “pig,” or “fat pig” less 
still than Gilles;” or perhaps to be called, or maybe not 

The floor of our room is square, ignoring the part on which 
I’m standing, writing this, on the wall, the wall once white, 
yellowed, bluening; with my pen, in my mouth. This part of the 
floor connects the square part of the floor of our room with the 
floor of the hall. It’s four feet wide and three feet long where 
it’s not three feet, four inches wide and four inches long where 
it is under the bottom of the door, and a few inches on either 
side. Of course the bottom of the door is not always here. 
Sometimes it shines its shadow elsewhere. When someone is 
opening or closing the door. When someone opens the door and 
doesn’t close it, and the breeze sails it to and fro. 

Apart from this part of the floor, the floor of our room is 
square: x feet south to north, x feet west to east, x feet north 
to south, x feet west to east. Made of wooden planks, two 
inches wide, of varying lengths, arranged, somehow. On this 
floor: two bureaus, two trunks, two beds, two desks, two chairs, 
arranged, clockwise: one bureau, the other bureau, one trunk on 
top of the other trunk, one bed, the other bed, one desk, the 
other desk, one chair, the other chair, just inside the perimeter 
of the floor. The walls once white, yellowed, bluening, bare 
except for the occasional picture of Arnold Palmer, the window. 

One day I came back from French class or Aycock House 
and I stood on the part of the floor you would have to ignore... 
and I saw from Viggs’ feet to Viggs’ head, from the foot to the 
head of the bed, and a little beyond, but in that direction, this 
was happening. Viggs lay on his back. His little legs kicking up a 
storm. His little belly jiggling. His bashed-up head dangling out 
the window. He clung to the foot of the bed with one little 
hand, and he clung to the steaming radiator pipe with the other. 

Next. Ran away. Came back, years later. Ran away again. 
Came back again. And again. Next. Sitting on Viggs’ bed, Viggs’ 
head at the head of the bed, Viggs’ feet...patting Viggs’ little 
belly and watching Viggs’ little hand, the blisters bursting, 
torrents of blood trickling between his little thumbs. And just as 
the Japanese amuse themselves by filling a porcelain bowl with 
water and steeping in it little crumbs of paper which until then 
are without character or form, but the moment they become 
wet, stretch themselves and bend, take on color and distinctive 


jock ire land 

“Viggs,” I called. 

A nice compliment for “Gilles.” Think of the orthographic 
panegyrics, “Gilles,” backwards, trading the “e” for the second 
“g” of “Viggs” gives “ssllig,” roughly. 

But Viggs was not often called, called “Viggs,” called 
“Gilles,” called in a nasty way, not often. For Viggs was not 
often about to be called. He rarely left his bed, and blanket. 
And to be called, called “Viggs,” called “Gilles,” called in a 
nasty way, even only slightly often, Viggs had to be about, or 
on the telephone. And Viggs had little time for the telephone, 
or for streetwalking, or for treehanging, or for bowling, or for 
the other young men in the dorm. Though he had a little time 
for the other young men, in the evening. When I put him in the 
golf bag, legs first, the golf bag on its pulley cart, and pulled 
him, to the washroom. Where he might brush his tooth, or comb 
his hair, where he might watch the showers. Where he might be 
seen, by the other young men, in the mirrors, and called, 

And there’s the story of a mother, once, in the dorm, but she 
was bashed by baseball bats before she saw Viggs, or Viggs saw 
her, or her screams reached Viggs, or Viggs’ howls... 

I saw Viggs in the evenings, whether or not we went to the 
washroom together, as long as I wasn’t sitting in front of 
Aycock house, or carrousing with Kinn, after my Economic 
homework was done. He would be on his bed looking out of the 
window. I would go over to his bed and lift his flap and whisper 
“Viggs” several times and scream “Viggs” several times until he 
would turn his bashed-up face toward me, or toward the wall. 

Viggs is gone now, to the golf course, to France. What 
remains is his smell, some bits of his blue blanket, fragments of 
his trunk. The pulley cart, glistening in the sunlight. 

He spoke, once. In French and English. Perhaps he had been 
reading my Beckett books, backwards. His speech was not long. 
Two words. 

“Une, Anne,” he called. 

I was pulling him, in the pulley cart, down the street, 
sidewalk. I guess it was two languages. There was a girl. I wasn’t 
paying much attention. She turned the comer, I guess. I had to 
watch the trafic. For his sake. 



1 4W 


Montreal has mostly been a name 

of winter nights ... in an empty street light snow 

glides across reflections on the pane 

of a pavmship window. A shadow 

smooths across the soft movement of hair 

about her shoulders where sometimes the nimbus 

of a streetlamp (always there 

beside her) sketches a delicate dream between us 

on the window ... fa snowflake) ... for a moment 

it will linger in the night... 

yet it always fades complement 

to a motionless charade when the bleak light 

catches her cheek and the white flake 

melts into a tear on the hard window 

of a store no longer there when I awake 

to find that outside it is snowing. 

bruce kuniholm 

“PoetM 7tot Ti^'utteM' 

Minn kao ni horeru shichiya no doyo-boshi 


So briefly had I waited for her touch 
had she but waited so for mine 
we would have paused 
in time each for the other 

a second passed (between 
us there remained) 
the loss of which not even 

of us has found 


I once drank arrack from a whisky cup 
and mumbled thanks 

when the barmaid patched my tattered pants 
or sewed on buttons 
looking askance and all the while 
whispering for me to call her Clotho. 

How could I know if she were serious 
or even, when it came to that, 
that old lady Lachesis would object. 

Now I’m more or less committed 
to her sister who’s a lady wrestler, 
pesters the bajesus out of me 
and makes me literally beg when - 
and every night she does this -- 
she gets me in a scissors grip. 


The Wrestler 


(for my father) 


The Epicure 

Sitting in the morning sun, 

Listening to tangoes on the phonograph, 

As the lantern turns in the open barn, 

The wrestler’s glass sarcophagus. 

The frame thread-dangled hieroglyphs spurl 
The sun-spun dust beamed through the rafters 
Of what was once my grandfather’s house 
And now a purely imaginative structure. 

Discarded in a dump in the open air, 

Who cares for the shattered cut glass of its panels, 

The rusted brass frame 
Or the waterlogged man, 

His massive torso veined and yellowed by the roughshod sun, 
Now only a hunk of his former self? 

None, save the cats, or a mendicant, 

Who, perusing the rubble with an open mind, 

And finding the lantern of curious design. 

Holds the frame up to the sun, and wonders. 


bru ce kuniholm 


The Wrestler From Aleppo 

The wrestler from Aleppo lived seventeen years 
In a magic lantern; suspended from a wire 
In a frame of brass, he was clamped in a cage 
Enclosed by eight glass panels. 

The panels were fashioned from panes of cut glass 
That my grandfather, in the spirit of the thing, 

Inbued with a garish assortment of pigments. 

He had laboured three months 
On abstruse designs 

In the jumble of bottles on his workshop bench 
And then, by chance, when oxides tailed, 

Through some strange process of his alchemy, 

He conjured up a method of burning in pigments 
And effected a stain with the proper tinge. 

When he was satisfied, he meticulously incised 
Curious markings in the corner of each panel, 

Saying, with his offhand flare for the bizarre, 

They were copies of Phoenician hieroglyphs 

He had seen inscribed on some old stone sarcophagus 

Depicted in a Sunday rotogravure. 

And then he had assembled the lantern, 

Using a leather thong 
To hang the wonder of an age. 

The mountebank himself 

Was carved from a solid hunk of ivory; his pate was bald 
and his massive torso gleamed 
In the harsh light of his stately cage. 

It had taken three days 

For the old man to carve the pose he struck. Three days 
To construct a semblance of the man 
Within the confines of his age-old mind 
And then to effect 

This fantastical figment of his imagination. 

The wrestler’s name was printed in a fusty ledger 
That was buried deep in the cellar of his house; 


It was found long after the old man died, 

And leafing through the book 
I had come across a page 

With numerous sketches of the wrestler in the margin 
And many small ciphers beside his name. 

And it was this that preserved his majesty. 

For other than that book, 

The place and name 
Remained forever mysteries 
Whose origins were never fathomed. 

A muffled man in his later years, 

My grandfather 

Had given him brief renown 

Then taken him trom his world of light 

And carried the lantern to the darkening cellar 

Where he hung it amongst a world of tools 

And old work benches, with the waning light 

Through the window slow-fused in the afternoon sun. 

It was there in the cellar of my grandfather’s house 

Where, turning, the lantern’s mysterious lines 

Would cast 

Strange graffiti on the rough hewn walls, 

Exploring the contours, delving into the interstices 
Of my grandfather’s dwelling, 

Providing me when I was young 
With some remarkable illuminations. 

It was then as I lay in the green of my days 

On my back, in the cellar ot my grandfather’s house 

That the lantern would turn in the back of my mind 

While my fists, doubled up and rubbing my eyes, 

Would smite the motes of the dust filled air 

Until through the lamp 

On the wall 

Would appear 

The old man 


Over his bench 

Quietly working on a wicker chair 

In the calm of the wood of his basement shop, 

The entire world except for the sun 
Within the confines of his magic lamp. 





My Mind's Eye 

My room has carved a hollow in the sun; 

I utilize its walls to build my world, 

And have become accustomed to the dark. 

Sometimes a light seeps beneath the door, 

But the sediment of its moted hue, 

Aged and mellowed on the stone within, 

Can be swept with a broom - 

It serves no purpose other than to keep me company. 


can’t stop the worrying 
about the things we do 
I can’t stop loving, 
without it nothing would be true. 

D. Mason 

A Part of a Whole 

“Who’s the fucking longhair in cell no. 1?” 

“Probably in for dope or rioting.” 

All that talk set me thinking and evaluating. Contrasting 
images and illusions were beating mercilessly in my brain. Some 
white and some black. I am not sure which of them was more 
relevant and ultimately more important. To come to grips with 
that one image or idea which was more significant required 
testing. But even that last sentence doesn’t make sense because 
perhaps they all are one image, gliding into one another. The 
testing, though, wasn’t to be ordinary. I had to become a mortal 
god, if there is such a thing. Omnipotent and not just a little 
willful and dominant. Conducting a thorough test which yields a 
productive answer to an abstract question is no easy task, and I 
wasn’t sure if I could handle suck a task. But, I knew it was 
necessary. All those who surround me, Jon, Cee and Melinda 
(especially Melinda) would have to yield to me, yet they must 
not know it. 



harry fee 

I had to be cunning and deceptive like a fox who tries to flee 
from a pack of ravenous hounds. They were to be manipulated 
and contrived, but only to a certain extent. I hoped to sustain 
spontaneity by manipulating only in spurts, at particular times 
when I saw an opening. My perspective was not to be tinted by 
a constant, deliberate scrutinization of the reality around me. I 
would try and let it flow, but at times according to my 
standards and regulations. It would be like a Spanish dessert, 
flan, gooey and liquidy, but containing at the same time little 
nodules of plans and manipulations. This substance is to be 
eaten by my fingers and not classic silver spoons. I am going to 
gorge myself with it, not merely graciously dip in a spoon and 
barely taste it. 

Part II 

Early next morning I awoke with acid mouth and dead eyes 
and left. After an hour’s long and boring drive I arrived at her 
room. Sleeping beautifully, I realized what I had to say to her 
and how. 

“Melinda, dear, we should talk.” 

“You must be tired, why don’t you come to bed?” 

“I had a talk with Cee and she gave me an ultimatum which I 
more or less refused.” It was like a massive trap choking my 
throat, preventing the words from taking their place in the 
natural order of things as I kneeled beside her bed and looked 
into her cool eyes. 



“Answer me honestly--did you sleep with her?” 


“You’re lying to me now.” 

“Yeah, I know it.” 

With that she shriveled back away. She lei go of my sweating 
hand. Her face contorted to a face of dejection like the face of 
a young pup when you try to tell him you don’t want to play 
anymore, only about 1,000 times more intense. Maybe she 
doesn’t want to play anymore. 

“Why? You lied to me and you ...” 

“I know I have and I can only ask you to listen to me now. I 
try to do things...” 

The words began to flow voluntarily. To attempt to stop or 
reorder them was fruitless. Real honesty, so gripping and 
terrifying that I was so confused and unable to articulate what 
needed to be articulated, what Melinda had to understand. My 
subtleness was out of place now--blatancy, that was the key. The 
blatancy of the blossoming of a tropical flower-vivid color and 
brightness radiating from a sickly green stem “...which I perceive 
to be the best. To tell you when it happened would have utterly 
destroyed you. It was a stupor marked by the easiness and 
loosening of the tongue which alcohol so marvelously creates. A 
definite loss of motor control, not adversely affected by that 
little cigarette with the provocative smell that we did up. Try to 
understand and realize...” 

After saying all this, though, perhaps not in the same manner 
that I tell you, thoughts began to become more organized inside 
me. I had intended on telling Melinda as a means to an end, but 
then a spark that started somewhere in my chest, unveiled to me 
a true emotion. What was flowing out was no surreptitious 
attempt at manipulation. I think she really means something to 
me. She must know that. 

“Leave me,” she whispered. 

I undressed and gently and smoothly slid between the fresh 
sheets. Seeing her had kind of awakened me. Talking with her 
had made me aware. Touching her made me sure. Our bodies 
then merged in marvelous harmony, destroying a sense of a 
separate me and a separate you. I gave her all of me that 


barry lee 

Part III 

One morning two years earlier I had experienced and learned 
the awesome power and beauty of the sun. 1 sat and watched 
Dave and Ed reflect the powerful rays of the sun off their 
handy mirror to blind and infuriate the driver of the old red 
tractor-trailer that was wheezing up route 47. Then with a mere 
flick of the wrist the sun was igniting the highly flammable Ron 
Whittle, all the way across the courtyard. Next they zapped 
George as he tried to capture the spontaneity of the action. But 
ah! No chance, for George’s camera was terribly powerless in the 
face of the sunlight. Zap back to the driver. Zap over again to 
Ron Whittle, Zap to George, who was now employing guerilla 
tactics-hiding behind a tree, seemingly inconspicuous, one of the 
many people in the yard during the bright day, but as soon as 
he raised his camera, ZAP he was felled. Control and Power so 
wonderously delegated to the inspired hands of those two gods. 

Later that afternoon jon and I walked for what seemed like a 
year. We left after lunch, which we failed to attend. It was a 
bright, as evidenced by the morning’s lesson, winter day. The 
snow was deep, perhaps four to six feet. Something interesting 
had happened during the night before. The temperature had 
risen above 32 degrees and the clear sky had become tinted by 
dark, ominous clouds and it rained heavily. By morning the 
mercury in the thermometer had dropped back to its usual 
position below 32 degrees, and according to the laws of nature, 
a thick sheet of ice formed on the surface of the snow. The 
sheet of ice was impenetrable. Walking was difficult, especially 
when we ascended a hill. 


Often I would walk through these fields, sometimes alone, 
sometimes with Jon. Up here I felt so damn clean and alive. We 
could see the houses in the valley below, but it was like they 
were up there with us. Here I witnessed the beauty of the sun. 
The rain during the night had formed droplets on the branches 
and twigs of the trees and the bright sun was now reflecting the 
sparkling colors of the spectrum through the glass-like tips. I had 
never seen anything like it-it was like breathing in the vivid, cool 
colors of the peacock’s tail. Jon felt my amazement ... Felt my 

We walked further, through the adjacent fields, sometimes 
sliding, always thinking and feeling, under the not so subtle sun. 

Eventually we made our way back. We sat in the confines of 
the typical room, you know four walls, one ceiling, one floor, a 
window and a door. All kinds of forms that call themselves 
people came and went. Poor deceived bastards. Jon and I stayed. 

The day had been a continually flowing river and I had 
realized much, but more important I had felt much, rather we 
had felt much. I felt as if all the different rhythms that function 
inside me were coming together into a whole. A whole unified 
rhythm, but one that had its roots in all the other parts that 
were me. I knew what had happened was to be a turning point 
of sorts, but the problem was that I just wasn’t sure of which 
way or towards what I should turn. Not that the turning should 
be a conscious effort, but I just couldn’t grok the totality of the 
experience. What happened? What was happening? Fuck-I finally 
stopped thinking. 

Part IV 

I sit in the class where he is performing his intellectual 
exercises, but I ain’t listening. I ain’t listening to those little 
unimportant, unmeaningful words about Freud and illusions. 
Maybe it is important, but today I can’t, or rather I don’t want 
to be attentive and listen. I promise I won’t bother you, though. 
Instead I can sit and not think about all that crap. You do give 
me things, not always in the medium of words however, and I in 
turn am trying to give you something which, perhaps, may show 
you something of your worth, even if it is in words. I really 
don’t feel as if I am any different than you. 


barry lee 

Part V 

Cee always found things to do. At first it was anthropology 
(she wanted to find man’s earliest beginnings, why ! don’t 
understand), then Jim, ME, parapsychology and now it reverts 
to a Life magazine panoramic hippy experience of drugs. The 
old story of getting caught up in something which you really 
don’t grok is a damn true one. You know—the old 
“not-looking-before-you-leap syndrome.” 1 got caught up in her 
hyperlife style and became-ZAP-the power behind her, and that 
knocked me for a loop. Trying to fuse myself outwas an arduous 
task, but one that I disciplined myself to complete. One of 
those tests I mentioned earlier. So now it is comfortable. When I 
was with her I felt good sometimes, other times i felt like 
bleached cat shit (Richard Brautigan said that). She is still a part 
of me, that I can’t deny, but that part is passive and not active, 
it was a learning experience. It aids me in synthesizing all those 
different rhythms inside and for that I am thankful. 

Part VI 

Well now that you, my little one, have gone through my little 
ego trip I feel more complete. I have given this to all of you 
because once a teacher told me that even watching the sun go 
up every morning can be a gauge of one^s coming to grips with 
oneself. I give you small nodules of my direct experience that 
have influenced me towards a realization of a unity that 1 can 
theorize and intellectually postulate on, but that I still can’t 
FEEL, feel in its totality. The reality around me is still that 
other reality and I am only a relative part of it. To me, I also 
am real, to an extent... 

This isn’t the end, though, sure of that... 





Thy right hand, O lord, is become glorious 
in power . . . hath dashest in pieces the 


Old man: 


Boney, you crouch covered with dust-- 
How long have you been squatting there? 

Dying bicycles miss your feet 
And great hard-shouldered monsters bull by 
The market place, scattering your people 
Like a flock of scared chickens, 

Waking the earth and exhaling 
The wastes of unsanctified power. 

Hey Papa-San-- 
What do you make of it? 

Colorless broke-neck flowers bow before 
The visible breath of garbage heaps, 

And pitted skins of buildings with pale shadows 
Guard big-bellied mothers and naked children 
Shuffling from one stand to the next: 

We both watch, but do we see the same thing? 

You suck your stalk of sugar cane- 
Do you feel the fly that creeps across your face 
Or the dirt that cakes your arms like skin disease 
Or any other, less personal abominations? 

Your shadowed face--was it touched ungently, 

Creased by crashes of light on clear nights, 

Cracked like the pattern of a broken rice bowl 
Left to gather dust a thousand years ago? 

Do those worn-out eyes still peer beneath your coolie hat-- 
Were they visible, would they speak? 


Old man, 

We are headed for the rice field behind your hamlet: 
My weapon is on automatic. 

The miraculously powerful shout 
That bore me here is distant now-- 
All the history books and historians are 
Distant now, beyond reproach or consultation. 

Did you see me smile at you? 

Is there anything you would say to me before I go? 


We are young, bom on the backs of 
Heaving, groaning dinosaurs 
To the jungle, 

Howling for full stomachs and 
Stepping on everything to satisfy 
An animal instinct. 

Created in the image of . . . 

Man bags Sandbags Sunlight and Shoes: 

Watch your little finger or your finger you'll lose . . . 

No fair-that hurts 

The world is flat, after all. 

I am here. 

Where are you? 

I saw your panic eyes dragged down from behind 
while you stared through the priest at some 
distant, unprotesting angel. 

Now while the last benediction evaporates 
my time has stopped, too--the guns, too. 

For the dead, no sounds. 

For the living, the sounds of a feeble, failing brain: 

dumb words, startled words, 

words jarred from meaning words 

scattered like fragments from an exploding bomb 

with meanings carried off 

like hot smoke- 


dermis coates 

words dead, lying like corpses on an aching tongue, 
other words weary, lagging far behind, 
perhaps lost forever. 

Your rusted face and neck: 
already the impatient hand of earth is on you. 

Now there is no one but me 

to kneel over you. But who-- 

who was a god to that thing 

that burned within you like an evening star? 

Was she a careless god? 

If she could see you now, 

cold, so unlike any living thing, 

with your face and neck all dirty 

and some hard and ageless thing cut through you- 

surely she could not touch so carelessly 

the thing within you like a fallen star. 

But there is only me-- 
not even unprotesting angels 

to leave men lying wax-wooden on muddy battlefields so 


starting at the sounds of guns, 
at the smell of scorched sulphur, 

at the problem of determining the precise history of a 

rudely created crater. 




By a searchlight moon gripped by little grins in the dark . . . 


By a mud hut with straw roof, watching weak candles and cheap curtains 



By wrong sponsors, wrong contracts, but this--my tribal game . . . 

Of darkness and spiders and snakes and a year to wait . . . 



All you monkeys, the earth will jerk unkindly beneath your feet- 

You dumb, claw your thin bodies for fleeing ghosts-- 

Deep down gullets to clutch fear and pinch away proverbs-- 

Tell. Come. With blood-clogged throat, and bomb-brain trigger, I wait. 


If SITREP normal , break squelch twice. 


dennis coates 


The stars say “see 
how sheer the haze 
after all: poetry 
was spent by blaze 
for metal stronger 
than human flesh. 

Live a day longer, 
colors still fresh 
will hurt your eye 
for judging them., 
despoil or display 
but do not condemn 

if you cannot act. 

Lilies and leather 
need no other fact 
to try the weather 
one more day..such 
knowledge is vital 

to him seeing much 
and trusted to all 
who will grip life 
quick, hard, whole, 
who can force life 
to fit his control.” 

Yet, stars can lie 
on cloudy nights. 

Besides, here only a fool 

would try to walk in a straight line. 


dennis coates 


We attend our nocturnal orange juice. 
Cold, essential: she by slow sips- 
1, quickly, thirstily. 

In the still, personal night 
We pour rivers and waterfalls 
And weather for night- 
Developments as different as 
Fingerprints, philosophies. 

We smile, thinking 
We have shared something. 



The night before exam 

All my philosophical acquisitions of 
universal forms striving towards ultimate 
perfection in the living process of concrete 
nature are contained in a light blue 
cotton shirt and a pair of brown 
corduroy trousers sitting on a 
rocking chair with a vicious half smile 
in front of me. 



fa @otto*t StadkucfA 

Back up to a stained wood wall... 
learn the ritual of growing old. 
Feel the sadness in your warmth 
as the tales of rooted earthen days 

and silent trees weep dry songs 
of returning again. 

m&ic/t, 2 

animals in corners 
hear rain’s 
plea to enter 
and join 

the communion dance 
of cats and squirrels 
and silent sleep 
of a naked leg 
slipping from the bedside... 
plea to enter 

and leave tormented night 
of frightened men. 



in may 

in may, the river cracks, grey threads swell into streaks of 
color, the white is blemished, crude holes splinter into roadmap, 
errant pubic hair, and a stomach ripe for splitting. 

rain and sleet, like a fool and his friends, fall often from the 
winter skies, that snow-dirty collar that covers our necks, stern, 
rigid days that multiply; and the sun is a rare and precious 
stone, the wind is never cold, but only damp, people do not 
visit, here, we are isolated by our luxuries. 

the mother passes through the land into the daughter and 
then the child, they tell me that they live here in the dust of 
curtained rooms, they sneer, your lineage is impossible, hunters, 
as they journey home, have stripped the land of any meaning 
and impressed us with their loneliness, bastards bake in the sun 
of the south. 

though disinherited, i remain, they have been quite 
thoughtful in their cruelty, i would say i am as satisfied as i 
have the right, i would say not at all. the wet-tongued wind will 
not lay still, i forgive when i can and forgive when i can’t. 


we come to easy compromises, the existing land was 
worthless, a panarama wrapped across the eyes of the house, for 
too long, i avoided doors, i stuck my hand through windows 
into the damp and the moist, i lay out cards, and i take them 
in, again, i study fingernails. 

soil-sanded, ringed knuckles, margaret gathered vegetables and 
never meat, she would drag the dirt with her harp bone and 
plant the seeds in rows of mounds. 

the ritual is a simple one. i demand the silence of four 
corners, i would even trade my hoard, come, take the last of the 

in may, she closed her eyes and did not open them, again, 
they became swollen, with her face, and her cheeks were 
pinches, and her lips, balloons, in the blue light of her room, she 
was a statue, at first, i talked to her as you would a baby, but, 
later, i didn’t. 

in the second week of the sickness, her breath began to 
discolor the room, her lungs slowed, and her chest rose and sank 
with the finality of a missing machine, her legs would jerk like 
alcohol on open nerves, she gloved her body fingers within the 
sheets, sores appeared and filled with pus. i rubbed her reptile 
face and cleansed my hands on her night clothes. 

in may, i returned to windows. 

years before, the earth yawned, and her shiftless husband 
split trees from the side of the house and fell into roads that 
unrolled as perfectly as carpets on a marble slab, elastic hems of 
yellow weeds grew friendly and covered prints, the wind howled, 
the land around, now, still and barren, stormed in celebration. 

scrawny, leaveless branches rise from sand like dead, 
misplaced roots, scattered pebbles sparkle like sun-bleached 
bones, black and oily, puddled, water supports the bodies of the 
insects it has poisoned, bubbles, purple and green, reflect 
sunlight through their prisms, the stomach tastes nothing, the 
polluted land has no strength to resist. 


tom house 

on the twenty-second day, the smell of the sickness filled my 
head, i inhaled it like ether, i exhaled it. the clouds of my 
nostrils condensed on my tongue, the sweat of my skin stains 
like dirty underwear. 

i am mad, i decided, i shaved in the bath, i hid in the closets, 
i studied the moons, and i carved hexograms on my body. 

her face was like tanned leather and as thick as a mask, her 
features could not be recognized, her chest had collapsed. 

i fed her with a teaspoon, she sucked water through a plastic 

i, no longer, will accept the food, scarecrows stole my clothes 
in the night, and i stitched rags, my hair grew long and twisted 
around my neck, i moved my body to the far room of the 




XQ3 rtvoAij fee^ 
cxnd <okt»v Vo cAonces 
Cl 5 k- VMh, U)kj 


Ba-Ba-Ba—Bon - Ba-Ba-Ba—Bon. 
Ludwig von Beethoven 
the Fifth. 

I asked Elizabeth 
Taylor to my bedroom - 
she asked what to wear. 



I’ve never seen one 
before, but all the guys say 
it is really cool. 

After the stair, 

Slinkies always end up in the 
garbage can, unwound. 


• a board- 

The robin ran out from behind the delicious di v,n ® 

P trees sang grass comPLAINED of migraine headaches. 
Purple sunfish reJOICED 
as they uhuummmed lullabyes of 1945 

Admiral TV’s. 

Horses burped l '^ > daisies fl oa Hnggently 

through transparent abstractiveness. 

Daffodils s m j j e d a t the passing earthworm 
out to set a record for s l j ^ h e r i n g 


sD ewsSUNra V c layers 

t YS through layers ot 

blue jeans and rest- 

r layers less popcorn 

w seeds. 

Tangerine-violet squirrels play pinochle W I L D L Y in refected 


Sand flies merrily 
landing in 

.e rti b. 

con v “*es 
and abandoned sweaters. 

Watermelonseeds e 
STAND in the corn r 
discussing their 
rotten treatment 

R U N N I N G 
A D 



S ? 

\ ^ 




Early Connecticut Spring 

Slowing wandering down muddy roads, 
seeking the spring 
fleet and elusive 
showing a footprint here, 
a shadow there, 

and hesitant to claim 
too quickly 

winter’s russets and browns. 

Faint greens, 

maple-red blossoms and balmy daffodils, 
massive grey and white flecked clouds 

scatter the warmth 

we had cupped in our hands 

and the valley 

contracts with a momentary chill. 

April vanishes 

and early March reclaims 

the sullen afternoon; 

even the sunhalo 

radiating through the clouds 

cannot dissuade 

the northern chill 

which sweeps from the lake. 



Silver, airborne music 
drifts above the sultry silence, 
as grey thunderheads 
droop from the opaque sky. 
such faint breeze, 
scarcely cooling, 
stirs a melody among 
trembling oriental bells; 
their gay, thin laughter 
so unbefitting 
an August afternoon, 
breathes new color 
into the discouraged petals 
of July roses, 

as brown uncrisps to peach, 
and runs time backward 
(in slow motion) 
and frame by frame 
their delicate unfolding 
folds once more 
into the feathered glory 
of unripened buds. 




each day 

Morning appears, 

with faint sunlight dripping from the leaves 
and dream fragments curling under the door, 
as shadows thaw 

and my window blinks at the world; 
slow thoughts stretch and gape 
unfold, and hum with possibilities; 

As I squeeze the toothpaste, 
a good-morning punch-card 
ticks from the tube, 
programming my day with smiles, 

as the infinite dawn rapidly shrinks 
to a point of infinity 
somewhere in front of me, 
in the bathroom mirror, 

As I stare at my possibilities 
programmed on a perforated card. 



Picasso's Blues 


The rain (God's wrath) 
hissing in reptilian whispers 
deposits my pain in puddles, 
and muddies it in clouded baths 
of weathered memory, gnarled regret. 


Now I know why the blue 
Guitarist, embryonic, fetally cramped, 
head drugged and mouth too 
open, plays upon his numb instrument 
mute chords to silent space. 




Lady Photographer 

The blue-eyed lady photographer 
With her tiny electronic flash, 

Passes, and leaves me in darkness, 

So I reflexively strike a match. 

The situation, however, is volatile; 

It grows and explodes and blows itself out, 

As the blue-eyed lady photographer 
Adds another to her exposure account. 





beyond the diamond wire fence 
the field stretched back to the 
railroad tracks 

radishes grew there-the jagged green handle 
removed, the dirt wiped off, 
they exploded 

with a bite-into 
red, white, and 

circumvent the grinning god 
find out why he laughs 
navigate to portraiture 
take azimuth from the bladed nose 
and triangulate the centerless eyes 
ask him why he’s smiling when 
your figures prove him dead 







^KeMetf of a, '}f(etru>*tomc 

I was running with frenzied grace, a crude vitality 
controlled and harnessed to my inner being, pumping my 
heart and breath in swelling rhythm, like hand bellows 
before a fire, that exalted my will and filled me with the 
sweet intoxication of energy. I no longer think to pro¬ 
pel myself; my legs are inextricably caught up in the motion 
of my being, the pulse of my blood, wherein each moment 
is conceived and delivered, consumed and expelled, in the 
steady cycle I create. Create? I hear the crisp sound of 
feet upon pavement, dissecting time into neat parcels I 
cannot distinguish. I try to focus upon one interval, 
extracting it from the cycle like a pinpoint from the 
universe, but it slips from my hands before 1 am able to 
register its faint touch, falling from me in the very act 
of its origin, engulfed by its sea, it leaves me empty-handed. 
Each step regains the former, beginning and trembling on 
elusive echoes, compounded by an increment which immanently 
takes on its own ephemeral existence. I cannot ponder 
residue. 1 have deemed it a thousand times without its 
ever understanding its own power to emerge phoenix-like from 
the ashes of its death. In vain 1 seek to preserve it, to 
render it whole and substantial to the light of day. And 

karen zaman 

again I am beset by the sequential presence of eternity, 
the tenuous sound of a tympanum, beating out time to a 
one-tone symphony, conducted and performed by its own hollow 
vibrations that actuate one another like a chain of paroxysmal 

I feel anaesthetized. As I run, my mind is passive 
like a skein of white silk stretched tautly between my 
temples upon which flashes a moving landscape, up and down, 
in vertical answer to my footfalls, sometimes sliding off 
the curtain like the fuzz edges of a dream. The view was 
that from a carrousel, where I, as a child, sat hugging the 
reins of a beautiful gray steed, no less beautiful for the 
chipped patina on its gracefully carved neck. Together 
we rose and fell with the notes of the calliope as the 
carrousel whirled in slow motion like a restless nebula, 
gathering momentum as I tightened my grip. All around me 
blurred an image of ruffled leaves and flapping skirts of 
ladies beneath parasols, masses of blue sky and clusters 
of clouds, shadows quivering in the filtered sunlight. In 
this fluttering picture that swept around me like brushstrokes 
on a canvas, one figure remained distinct and apart, 
punctuating each revolution and dissecting the flowing 
impressions like a slash across the canvas. The figure was 
my mother, whose face seemed to leap out from the swimming 
images around her. Just as the steady sound of my footfalls 
repeats incessantly the same breach, jolting time ever so 
gently with each step, the sight of my mother passed as 
regularly as a downbeat. I was powerless to gaze at her, 
to hold her smiling face between my hands, or bury myself in 
the folds of her dress, but rather, I felt the fragility 
of her image come to me and leave me like the rapid 
thrust of a fencer. 


Staggered memories such as these, flickering forms or 
stacked piles of identical images, strike in rapid succession 
against the framework of the brain where past and future are 
but arbitrary titles for inevitability, the knowledge that 
now is already past, and future is now, that the start and 
finish of a footstep is as implicit as birth and death, found 
in the fragments of my mother’s smile which I try in vain 
to piece together, seemingly lost forever, but perhaps 
lying in the realm of the unmanifest at the brink of 
becoming when shadows dissolve at twilight and jagged 
skylines soften and fuse with the sky. 

Darkness converged upon me, wrapped my body and sur¬ 
roundings in a convoluted veneer of half-light, slipping 
a translucent film before my vision that juggled my reality 
like a hall of tarnished mirrors. Just as one cannot portray 
a mirror apart from the reflection captured in its glass, 

I could not perceive dusk; it did not settle on forms like 
snow or fog, nor was it cast upon the earth like a moonbeam 
spreading its pale sheen in a shower of gaseous light. It 
evaded my understanding as if someone would tug it further 
from me as I approached. Each step left me ever encompassed 
by a stretch of familiar form between myopic visibility 
and the magical alter-reality beyond. 

And so it is with our own magical qualities, never 
observable save in fleeting glimpses that sometimes leap 
into view like a Mephistophelean genie, serving only to 
confuse us and whet our yearning to comprehend what we cannot. 
We long to clip the prolonged strand that threads moments 
together like a string of pearls on a continuum, anchoring 
time to an unnatural dwelling, fastening souls to mortal 
bodies, which, try as they may, become locked in the spokes 

r ...- 

karen zaman 

of a spinning ivheel. And, in trying to escape, we are pounded 
even more firmly into our fixed forms, compressed on all 
sides by the pressure of elements, just as the earth beats 
back when my feet pound its surface. I seek to surge beyond 
my borders like a radiating sun, extending my arms to embrace 
the world in a halo of precious essence. I seek only to be 
free. Instead I am condensed into hardened matter and clamped 
to a foreign gravity that precludes a search, by tying my 
equipment in seamless knots where I cannot find it, where 
it avails me nothing. Sometimes I sense it trying to whisper 
its whereabouts to me, but its voice is dissipated before 
it can reach my ears like a sound struggling to make its 
way from the bottom of an ocean. And then, feeling that my 
efforts are only causing further anguish and a tightening 
of threads, seeing my threshhold recede even further into 
darkness, I resign myself to my physical being, a mass of 
malleable substance, beaten like gold by invisible hammers. 


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a strong sadness 


This sorrow; 

This strong sadness 
Leaning so rudely up against me 
With its unimaginable end 
Poking my side uncomfortably; 
This sorrow 

That makes me shuffle for balance 
And blame the person next to me 
For All to see; 

This unwelcome stranger 
Is a part of me. 

Awareness has brought you here. 
Understanding makes us talk. 

We talk: dialogues of sorrow. 
You always interrupt. 

We talk. 

Always you interrupt. 

Always we talk. 

Always you interrupt. 



Conversation isn’t cure. 

Witchdoctors’ words do more. 

Sadness springs from itself, 

Feeds on itself, 


Breeding barren daughters and bastard sons. 
Children of sorrow, 

Matricidal, matricidal, matricidal! 


Sorrow, I can but fall 
If you outlean me. 

I will not rise to fall again. 

I will not rise again to v-eep. 

Death denies you passage. Tra 
Dead men don’t cry. La 
Neither will I. 

S/friuty *7<de 

In Spring Tide, 

sun and moon and earth are one; 

watery arms stretch far up onto a thirsty beach, 
and seldom make their way back, 

I wonder about you and how long your arms 

will stay 

until they rush away 
with the pull of a warm, neap tide... 


michael kenna 

Mr. Lotty 

In the parlor near the stairs, 

Mr. Lotty would always sit 
To read the evening paper 
Because he liked it in there. 

He would call into the kitchen 
From time to time 

The bits of news which seemed to him 

To be indicative of where the world was headed; 

And it never ceased to amaze him 

That he could buy it all for just a dime. 

Mrs. Lotty would answer back with: 

“What’s the world coming to?’’, and 
“Imagine that!”, 

While Minnie, their cat, 

Stretched over two flower pots, 

Fluffy and fat, 

Would doze off in the intervals between 
Mr. Lotty’s chit and Mrs. Lotty’s chat. 
Afterwards, when the dishes 
Had all been put away, 

Mrs. Lotty would come to the parlor 
And sit down to knit. 

And Mr. Lotty, hearing the faint tic, tic, tic, 
Would smile contentedly at his wife, 

And roll his head back, thinking of life. 




I am a clerk. 

I serve well. 

Within my appointed 
hours, I 

call the names of 
persons needing aid. 

I distribute papers 
on which names 
are printed in large, block 
letters. These letters 
are made of smaller letters, 
thusly: zzzzzz 



The scale, of course, is larger. 
Cyn, is a name I call. 

In the silence of my cubicle, 
it is quite embarrassing, but 
she is pretty 
and I like her. 

drunken sots with hiccoughs 
refuse their teaspoon 
of granulated sugar, and 
ask help 

in rotten, sodden poetry, 
the old, rough and raw machines 
held voices for me. 
screaming and complaining 
as metal scraped against metal 
and engines belched exhaust, 
i used to turn around and 
around looking for somebody 
calling, it seemed as though 
they were in the machine 
and needed help, the screams were 

clerk hollering "Sin!" like a command 
down the hall, the children 
of the computer rise 
in obedience and flock 
to the teeth. 

The phenomenally silent Calvin Coolidge 
was asked once, as he returned from 
church, what the sermon had been about. 
"Sin," he replied. "What did the minister 
say about it?" Coolidge replied, "He was 
against it." 


ben reynolds 

After I d Watched the Kansases of the World Sprout 

Barbed wire, 

and after I’d seen the slant-eyed, 

and red-skinned, the big-nosed, 
and black-skinned, the fair-haired, 
and the long-haired all locked up 
I sat down beneath an oak tree. 

I looked at the grass 

and thought how it turns to mud 

after a dog circles his pen for the hundredth time. 

I remembered the sound of mud around mv ankles 
and the way it sucked my feet down. 

Job shook his finger at The Bastard 

while I remembered my grandmother 
who was Scottish and my great-grandmother 
who was an indian. 

Then I burned my bible 
and cut off my index finger. 




<* my name 

The river knows my name, 

A polished rock 

Currents of acorns, currents of leaves 
Cord severed, brush 
One japanned finger of my hand 
Against the shore 
I close the door 
I step into the river. 

A dry wind blows through the tents at night 

Ruffling the hooded bird 

And the skins of the many gazelles, and we 

Drinking the goblets of wine which shatter our faces 

Sink down the thighs of eastern women 

Through tiers of sand and tapestry 

Grudgingly to bedrock. 

Why have we come so far 
To the shores of this black river 
To the walls of the alien city 

Not one of us knew the names of the men we would k 

When the crowd roared and we left for glory 

Hidden in the depths of Asia 

Not one of us knew the brown faces 

Which tomorrow perhaps, smiling through dry grass 

Will stoop to pluck the newly seeded crosses 

Where they lie. 


It will no longer do to look to the west 
In her dark eyes the fields are bare 
Where flowers grew 
Where Orpheus lies now 
Dead without issue. 




I am not a Christian soldier, 

-no sword nor armor, no battle cry- 
My struggle is silent, and in slow motion. 
DOMINION: I would have 
Dominion over that lush land 
Of fertile springs and shining fronds, 

Of tinkling golden anklets 

And glimmering, evening-star ponds, 

And stand at its gate with firm resolve, 
As an angel with searching eyes 
Who stares out at the geometric 
Sequence of my future days, 
-uncountable; truly timeless- 
That rise and never fall: 

To watch without a word, 

And never turn my heart 
To desiring what is left; 

To love what is to come. 

I am not a Christian soldier... 


\z\Ziihout f//e passion 
~fhe heart best 
The heaven 
Ton ighf 

5 f/mu/a/ 7 f 

The glazed eyes 

The drunK depths 

W idhouf j~he World tune 
T3ui yvifh The Soul 
Aloud Within 
Toh tghf 




“Les fleurs du mal sont abreuves du sang des innocents.” 


L’inpensable se pense 

Le cote noir s’expose 

Le ciel se couvre pour annoncer une perte 

La catastrophe se deroule 

Les soleils blafards s’eteignent 

L’oeil pourpre du Roy Pharon s'enrage 

Quand son brass magistral s’avive 

Pour hurler & branler une terre aride 

Le malin s'eclot dans le sang maudit 

Verse en nefaste abondance 

Le clairon entonne et les vifs meurent 

En buvant des gorgees de vie funeste 

Pendant que la structure corporelle se degage 

C’est une blague de mauvaise humeur. 





the last lonely ego 

They had been sailing for quite some time. The convict had 
lost track of the days and had only vague memories of land. As 
long as there was no land in sight he felt safe, but did not know 
why. He was even more unsure as to why he had decided to 
venture across the ocean; but he was on the ship now and there 
would certainly be no turning back. 

The morning was rising from the east tinting the horizon with 
rouge. (Red skies in the morning, sailors take warning, the 
convict thought to himself.) He stretched and stood on the 
deck. The sails were full. They had never been without the wind 
to push them constantly forward through the rough seas. The 
sailors were also beginning to stir and set about their tasks. 
Some were drawing sea water up from over the sides and 
carrying the buckets below deck. A few checked the fishing lines 
that were trailing the ship, tied at the stern. Two or three large 
fish had been caught. They cut the head off one and gutted it 
on deck, letting the entrails slide about the wooden planks. One 
of the sailors then picked the guts up and placed them in a 
bucket, which he took forward and dumped off the bow. The 
other fish were taken below. 

The convict watched with disinterest. He had observed this 
procedure every morning that some luckless fish snagged one of 
the baited hooks. He used to think he could feel the entrails, 
dumped from the bow and sliding along the keel of the ship, 
greasing the ship's bottom so that it might slip easier through 
the seas. But he realized now the folly in such beliefs. 


The sailors passed quietly by the convict, occasionally 
nodding to him. He had disposed of his striped uniform long ago 
but the scars from the leg irons still marked him. He was very 
conscious of the ugly welts that ringed his ankles, giving 
testimony to his disgrace, and he tried to pull his trousers down 
low enough to where the cuffs would touch the tops of his feet. 
But the trousers were not long enough to hide the scars, and he 
succeeded only in having his soiled shirt tail come untucked, 
exposing his belly with its crop of curly black hairs that ran up 
from his crotch. He tucked his shirt tail back in and again 
stretched. The sky was clearing now and the sun was higher in 
the sky. 

At the base of the huge, thick mast a dirty ragged man sat, 
mumbling to himself. He was caked with filth; only his black 
eyes peered through the shadowy grime, white rimmed and 
intense, staring at each individual as he passed, but giving no 
dimension of his thoughts. The sailors sometimes spoke of the 
beggar but the convict had learned nothing more than that he 
was considered a mystic or wise man by people on land. He, 
himself, had never heard a word from the ragged bundle of 
flesh. However, when the sailors passed with the daily bucket of 
guts, the old man would moan angrily and beat his fist against 
the deck. 

From one of the cabins aft, a stately and most beautiful 
woman appeared, dressed in fine white silk. Her hair, gleaming 
auburn in the sunlight, was piled high in a stylish coiffure. She 
wore no jewelry save a delicate gold chain which hung from her 
neck with the weight of an extraordinarily large and perfectly 
formed pearl. As she walked regally about the deck, she never 
looked over the rails or even glanced at the sea. As far as she 
was concerned, it did not exist. Occasionally she would give a 
remark to one of the sailors or scold another, but the sailors 
rarely paid her heed. She then started towards the convict, 
whose name was Pietre. He hated this part of the morning. The 
countess, for she was indeed of noble blood, while patronizing 
the sailors like a nanny, sought after the convict like a student 
beseeching his teacher. She showed the utmost respect for the 
convict and pretended not to notice the scars on his legs, 


f./.s. cobb 

camouflaging what the convict took to be repugnance with 
questions and scholarly conversations, which he did not 
understand at all. He distrusted her and answered her civilly, 
attempting to skirt her more prying inquiries. 

“Good morning, my dear Pietre." This was her accustomed 
greeting and the convict hated it. She had no right to address 
him by his first name: he was a human being, as was she. She 
was no better than he for all her royal blood. “Last night I was 
looking out the window at the stars. You know, men of science 
say that some of those stars are suns like our own with planets 
revolving about them and perhaps creatures as ourselves 
inhabiting the planets. Don’t you think this most interesting?" 
The convict could not have cared less. What business had anyone 
to ponder the stars when there was already so much uncertainty 
in this sea and on the land to come. He wished she would go 
back to her cabin and leave him alone. Such questions! 

Receiving no reply, the countess' voice sharpened. “You 
know you’ve never told me how you occupied your time back 
on land. Were you a teacher, a lawyer, a priest? No, evidently 
not. You seem the military type. You were a solider, weren’t 
you,” she declared flatly. The convict shook visibly but his mute 
face offered no answer. The countess curtly turned on her heel 
and walked to where the old mystic lay crumpled. 

“I am the Countess Andrea Petrovna Antonych. And who 
may you be?” she asked the old man. The sailors shook their 
heads and clucked their tongues. She presented herself to the 
old wretch every morning in the same manner. The mystic 
merely replied with a low growl that the convict understood as 
usual and said, “What? I don’t understand you. What do you 
mean to say?” This time the heap of rags remained silent and 
presently the woman turned and went back into her cabin, her 
face flushed with shame and confusion. 


j.I.s. co bb 

The sun was at the top of the sky and a commotion had 
started on the quarter deck. It seemed that the captain was 
coming on deck. The convict had heard much of the captain 
from the sailors. He was said to be a powerful man who could 
command one's very soul. He had been known to sail ships 
unscathed through the worst storms and had steered the most 
terrifying reefs as though he were pilot to every body of water 
on the earth. The convict had heard many amazing stories but 
had not once seen the master of the vessel. He had never before 
come on deck and actually presented himself to his men, 
although his presence was powerfully felt at all times. 

The convict looked again towards the quarter deck and there 
stood the captain. He was a tall, lean creature with a creased, 
weather-worn face and a long flowing beard. He was dressed in a 
severe purple uniform with which the convict was not familiar. 
But the most singular feature of the man was his eyes. They 
were blue as the sea with black, piercing pupils that had seen 
more than any sailor. They seemed to encompass the entire 
scene in a single glance: the men, the ship, the sea, and to 
comprehend all as if he had been a part of each: had lived the 
life of a common sailor; had felled the logs that made the ship; 
had swam the ocean with the fish. He knew all: the course, the 
distance, and the port of their arrival. Pietre could tell the man 
had made this voyage many times before. 

All the sailors stood at their posts, gazing towards their 
captain. The large blue eyes looked at each individually and they 
each felt naked beneath his gaze; some had to turn away. The 
convict dared not lift his eyes to meet the captain’s. He was glad 
when finally the captain smiled grimly and with a sweep of his 
hand, bade them all back to their duties. 


It was becoming afternoon. As the captain strode the after 
deck and conversed with the helsman, the sailors began to throw 
huge nets over the sides of the ship as it was customary to do at 
that time of day. The nets spread wide through the water on 
both sides of the vessel and were soon invisible below the 
surface. Then with strong lines, the men began drawing the web 
back in towards the ship. As the nets drew closer, Pietre could 
see that they were brimming with large silver fish. It was the 
largest catch he could remember. Usually the nets came back 
empty or tangled with kelp. He pressed against the bulwark and 
stared down at the writhing creatures, fascinated by their fluid 
motion. As the sun sparkled off the quivering mass, the fish 
ceased to appear as separate entites and seemed to Pietre as piles 
of glittering silver coin. He watched as the sailors hauled at the 
taut lines, their eyes reflecting the foaming, splashing silver. 
Pietre, himself, felt something deep and urgent within him and 
he began to grasp the ropes, pulling with all his strength. 

As the huge catch was being pulled up the gunwales and the 
sailors were preparing to empty the bulging nets on to the deck, 
a powerful voice lashed against their backs. The convict nearly 
lost his hold on the rope and many of the sailors let the line 
slide between their hands before restoring their burning grips. 
All turned to stare at the captain, who was glaring down at 
them from the bridge. 

“I won’t have it!” he bellowed. “Cast those creatures back 
into the sea where they belong. And be quick about it. I won’t 
have it said that this captain let his ship become a fishing scow. 
Now cast them off!” The blue eyes clouded and threatened 
lightning to the first man who would dare disobey his command. 

Slowly, grudgingly, the men lowered the nets back over the 
sides and opened them for the fish to escape. Swimming lazily, 
insolently, the fish dispersed back into the sea. The sailors said 
nothing but kept their heads low, their eyes averted, and 
slouched about the deck, leaving the nets hanging from the rails. 

The convict did not understand and was angry that they had 
to free the fish. But he said nothing, for he could still feel the 
heavy eyes that came from the bridge bearing down on his neck 
and spine. He shut his eyes tightly and leaned against the mast, 


s. cobb 

wrapping his arms about its girth. He breathed deeply. A 
powerful stench pinched his nostrils making him choke and 
stagger backwards. Opening his eyes he saw the source of the 
smell: the filthy old man, huddled at the base of the mast. Rage 
seized him. Glacing aft, he noted that the captain had gone 
below. Holding his breath, he grabbed the old mystic and raised 
him above his head. But the rags which he gripped disintegrated 
in his hands and the grimy wretch dropped to the deck with a 
crash. The sailors had all frozen: silent clay statues with painted 
eyes that followed his every movement. Though frustrated and 
confused, the convict knew that now he had to continue, for 
they were all waiting and watching. He seized the wise man by 
the ankles. The ancient mud-stained face glared at him, a mask 
of catharsis. But the convict had an iron grip. He swung the old 
man about in a circle, then let him fly over the bulwarks where 
he splashed into the sea. The sailors rushed to the rails to see 
what had become of the mystic.Pietre was trembling violently 
but he found himself drawn also to the side of the ship. At first, 
nothing could be seen but the dark blue swells of the sea. But 
then one of the men cried, “There he is!” They looked out and 
saw the wise man’s head bobbing above the waves. The sea 
water had washed away the dirt and grime revealing his face and 
neck. Pietre gasped for the old one's features was not old at all 
but young and glowing with life force. Only his eyes showed age 
but they seemed to laugh anyway at the ship and its motley 
crew. He raised his arm from beneath the water and pitched a 
piece of timber at them. Over their heads it sailed and landed on 
the deck behind them. Then he laughed out loud and swam 


Pietre turned and walked over to the piece of wood lying in a 
puddle on the deck. He picked it up and examined it in the 
sunlight. Bent, rusty nails covered its surface in uneven rows. He 
turned it over and over in his hands. It was very heavy with the 
nails and he wondered that the mystic could have tossed it on 
board from such a distance. All the sailors gathered around him 
and touched the piece, passing it about; but they could not say 
what it was. One man thought it was a piece of a rudder, but he 
was not sure and the others were not too interested anymore. 
They all drifted away. The convict walked aft and dropped the 
timber from the stern. It hit the water with a quiet splash and 
quickly sank from sight. Then Pietre began to weep bitterly. 

The sun was lower in the sky when the captain returned on 
deck. Pietre was still standing at the stern, gazing into the 
swirling wake that the ship carved through the sea. White foam 
marked their path on the water, but it was buffeted and 
scattered and eventually swallowed by the dark blue waves till 
nothing remained to denote their passing. The sailors, seeing 
their captain once more at the helm, grew restless and uneasy; 
they gathered at the bow and spoke in low tones among 
themselves. They avoided looking aft, at either their captain or 
the spot at the base of the mast. To no avail. 

“Where is he?” thundered the voice. “Where is the man 
whom I gave safe passage on this ship?” The men fell silent and 
stared at each other's hands. Pietre gripped the rail and did not 
move. “You, convict. Do you know where the wise man has 
gone?” The voice accused rather than inquired. Pietre turned 


j.I.s. cobb 

slowly, denial perched on his lips only to be met by twin 
embers of slow blue fire that told him the story was known 
already and the judgement drawn-the fear in his eyes having 
given witness to the deed. He would have tried to run but he 
knew he was beyond flight now. Strangely, the flames in the 
eyes subsided and in their place lay the cool ashes of pity which 
the convict had least expected to find. The emotion was 
incomprehensible in the captain; the convict would have 
preferred the quick clean fire to have charred his body, leaving 
nothing as evidence but a few blackened bones. But this pity he 
found slow and tormenting and beyond human dignity. He felt 
the salty sting of humility bite into his flesh. 

“It is as I knew it must be," said the captain and he turned 
and walked into the ready hands of his sailors who had crept up 
behind him. He did not resist. Screaming curses and insults, they 
suddenly leaped upon him and beat him about the head and 
neck; and when he fell to the deck they wrapped his body 
tightly in the fishing nets. Pietre found himself among them 
carrying the limp body down the ladder and laying it at the base 
of the mast. Someone thrust a rope in his hands and the convict 
began tieing a hangman’s noose. The intricacies of the knot 
came easily to him and he had it slipped beneath the captain’s 
chin in no time. Still shrieking abuses, they kicked the body till 
finally one of the men hoisted the bundle over his back and 
began climbing the mast. When he reached the boom he stood 
the captain up. Pietre could see that the captain was still 
conscious, but it shocked them all to see how vulnerable, how 
human he now appeared. They screamed at the sailor, “Hang 
him! Hang him!” The convict's voice joined the chorus as the 
man tried the end of the rope to the mast. They watched their 
captain roll his eyes. “What will the owner say?” he cried and 
then his feet were kicked out from under him. He plummeted 
head first to the rope's length and was jerked to his feet with a 
snap. The bulging eyes and thick tongue which jutted from 
between the purple lips gave his corpse a clownish appeal that 
caused the men to laugh like hyenas. 


It was through tears of laughter that the convict spied the 
countess, robed in a fine white gown, standing at her cabin 
door. He nudged the shoulder of the man next to him who 
turned and saw also and tapped the man nearest him and so on 
till all were standing, staring in silence at the beautiful woman. 
Then with the unity and strength of a pack of wolves they fell 
upon her, pulling her down to the wooden planks while the 
convict tore away her snowy gown. He was but slightly 
disturbed to find she was virginal. After that, each man had his 
turn till they all were sated. 

It was sunset by now. The sailors moved away from the 
figure lying prostrate on the deck. She slowly raised herself. 
Pietre looked at her; the dry trails of tears that spoiled her face; 
the thin rivulets that ran red, now dried brown down her thighs. 
She stood up suddenly, clutching at the remnants of her once 
fine gown, now tattered and soiled. The sailors hung their heads 
and drew farther way, widening the circle about her. Her auburn 
hair hung limp to her shoulders and fell down her back. Pietre 
detected the shame in the sailors’ hearts, but there was 
something else. Was it love? Or was it submission? The feeling 
was vague to him and he shied away from it but he sensed that 
the woman was now in control, was now the integral part of the 
ship and its crew. He suddenly felt very much alone. He moved 
back to the helm and there kept his head toward the stern, the 
sailors were kneeling about her in a close circle, their eyes on 
her uplifted hand. “That man is a convict!” she cried, pointing 
her fingers towards Pietre, “And not one of us!” 

“No,” he said, “I am Pietre!” but they did not hear him. 
They rushed upon the lone figure and pinned him to the deck, 
while the woman coiled a rope around him, pulling it tight, 
cutting his skin, laughing at his pain. 

They hung him by his heels from the mast in place of the 
captain, whom they cut down and tossed overboard. The blood 
rushing from Pietre’s body into his head, tinted the twilight sky 
before his eyes. (Red skies at night, sailors’ delight, he mused as 
he took his last breath.) “Land ho!” called a sailor from above. 





(Duke during Spring Vacation) 

the webbed drawers and colored canopies 
show through the door 
if you stare hard enough 
tones float and soar 

listen to the empty house 


strain and shift in the sun 
waiting for those that left to return 

and I wander alone and small through 

the carpeted thoroughfares 
and see another like myself 
but we pass, eyes averted 
blushing at our loneliness 

Notes on Contributors 


LEIGH ABLONDI is an undecided art history major from New York City. 

ANDREW ANGYAL is a graduate student in English presently living in 

BOB BAIRD is a sophomore English major who hails from Raleigh. 

LYDIA BANKS who lives in Chapel Hill, writes and illustrates stories for 

DAVID BOGER’s poems come from his book entitled currents of a wind, 
which was written last year for Ms. Vick’s comparative literature class. 
He is currently acting with Hoof ‘n’ Horn. 

DAOUD CHORO is yet to be found, for he is incognito. 

DENNIS COATES is a graduate student in English in Vietnam and remains 
on duty as an army captain. His poem entitled “The Sixth Day” was 
the winner of the 1971-72 American Academy of Poets competition. 

JAMES L. COBB is a sophomore from Fort Smith, Arizona. 

D. DARLING is studying the nature of Tsing-Yaoh polymorphism. 

MIKE ELLSWORTH is a senior from Longmeadow, Massachusetts. 

LINDA FORE, a senior double-majoring in art and political science, belongs 
to an evening drawing group. 

C. GRAVES is a grad student at u.n.c. 

S. J. FREEDMAN is unknown. 

R. HACKEL is a Czechoslovakian mambo instructor moonlighting as a 
second-story man. 

RUTH HARDEE is a Gilbert-Addoms freshman from Winetka, Illinois. 

WINNIE HINSON, artist and doodler, is a freshman from Miami. 

MARY HOOK, a junior from South Carolina, is studying art with W. K. Stars 
and plays the glockenspiel in the band. 

CRALE D. HOPKINS comes to Duke from California, and is a second year 
graduate student in English. 

TOM HOUSE’S wife is about to have a baby and he has just completed his 

GOLDI IRANI is an English grad student from Iran. 

JOCK IRELAND is a junior from Montreal, Quebec; an artist; and French 

MICHAEL KENNA is a junior from Atlanta who has contributed to previous 
ARCHIVE issues. 

ANDRAS LAPIS is a student of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in 
Budapest. Although Andras has never taken LSD, his drawing depicts 
what he imagines the drug’s effects to be. 

BERKELEY W. LATIMER is a grad student in history who likes French 

BARRY LEE is a sophomore English major who likes cats. 

JAN MARTELL is a noted artist and mountain-climber. 

BRUCE KUNIHOLM is an English graduate student residing in Durham. His 
three-part poem, “The Wrestler from Aleppo” won honorable mention 
in the 1971-72 American Academy of Poets contest. 

PAT McNELLIS is a freshman from Nashville, Tennessee, who is presently 
studying creative writing under Dr. James Applewhite. 

P. E. MELVILLE is a Senegalese short-order cook living in Creedmoor. 

STEVE MILLER is a senior, living in Durham, who has completed a major in 
psych and is presently working on one in art design. 

WEESA PLYLER is a senior majoring in English. 

poorallofus unknown to all save a few friends. 

THOM PRICE is a poet, a track fanatic, and the assistant editor of the 

BEN REYNOLDS is a junior living off-campus in Durham. 

KEN SHIFRIN is the “junior-artist-in-residence” and a concert trombonist. 

HELEN SMITH, a junior from Durham, is considering a major in art history 
and enjoys creating woodcuts. 

SUSAN TIFFT, a senior English major, comes from the city of St. Louis, 
Mo., and writes for the CHRONICLE. 

DONALD YATES a flick-watcher from Florida. 

M. T. YOUNGS does volunteer work as a crossword-puzzle reader for the 
Albanian Literacy League and Delicatessen. 

KAREN ZAMAN is a Duke senior, currently studying with Reynolds Price. 

Duke University Stores 

Duke University Store 
East Campus Store 
Duke University Bookstore 
Duke University Vending Service 

Duke University Barber Shop 

Union Building 

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9 A.M. - 11:45 P.M. Daily — 7 Days Weekly 

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Free parking in rear and on Brunson’s lot after 5 p.m. daily and all day Sunday 


Duke University Union 

Programming Committees 


Freewater Films 
Graphic Arts 
Major Attractions 
Major Speakers 
Performing Arts 

Triangle Volkswagon, Inc. 

3823 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. 
Phone 489-2371 

This is a plug 
for Volkswagen. 

Volkswagen is the world's first 
plug-in car, 

No, we're not putting you on, We 
meon it. Every 1972 Volkswagen has 
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into its own starting later this year 
when the computer comes on at your 
Volkswagen dealer's. 

If you buy one now, you'll be all 
set when it happens. 



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1 - 





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1 -—-— 

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ANONYMOUS, O my Husband. 



20 MARTHA BARNHOLDT, A Bamboo Fence. 


30 BRUCE BROWER, Quietly Forever. 


11 Recognition. 

29 RICHARD CURREY, Moments in the History of Hyattsville. 
AV dai, Gummed Impression, 

AW The Shadowmaker. 

50 D. DARLING, Photograph. 

51 Positive, 

52 Half-tone, 

BR Composition in black & white. 

31 MARK DENNY, The angel came. 

AD EDITORS, Pre-preschool, 

BE Apologia. 

37 MIKE ELLSWORTH, Vineyard, 

38 The Wooden Stake, 

38 Hat in Hands. 


AS Pitcher, 

BJ Woman. 

AY WINNIE HINSON, Vegetables Afloat. 

32 CRALE D. HOPKINS, Driving North, 

32 A dead robin. 

BH TOM HOUSE, the waiting room. 

35 GOLI IRANI, Quiet Violence, 

35 Apple Pie. 

39 ALAN W. JENKS, Snowstorm. 



AT DONNA LANDRY, Michael's Room. 

AO PAT McNELLIS, The Wheat Field and the Dodge Pickup Truck. 
BO PEG MELVILLE, Photograph. 

AG MATT MILLER, Matt's Dream. 

AX EVELYN PARENT, For Children Only, 

36 Poem, 

36 Remembrance. 








JOAN PAVLOVICH, Corner of a Boom. 

NICK PEARSON, Photograph. 

THOM PRICE, Photograph, 


NINA RADAKOVICH, Home, Sweet Home or Sunday at the Ritz. 

MARILYN ROAF, Shulamith. 

ERIN ROBERTS, Fingerings. 


MAY SIGMAN, The day my ballet teacher turned into a frog. 
MARK SMITH, a snapshot in your wallet, 
an intimate little number, 

gothic wonderland, 
a shooting star, by the chapel, 
bedtime story. 

PETER STRIMER, The Road to Glen Jean Springs. 

JEFF TALMADGE, Carolina Rain. 



KITTIE WHITE, Two Definitions of Pain: Evolutions of Waiting. 

DONALD YATES, The Angels, 
Autumn Day. 

WINTER 1973 

editor anne dantzler assistant editor (& poetry editor) thorn price prose editor 
dave chandler assistant prose editor tom noland art editor weesa plyler 
photography editor dave darling contributions editor gali hagel people editors 
chris mayfield pat mcnellis business manager liz ansley ad manager bob 
bernstein literary editors poetry diana brenna mike ellsworth nathan goldman 
andy hicks donna landry bill marquess pat mcnellis debbie mow lynne sturm 
joe ullman bruce young literary editors prose mike breen donna landry barry 
lee chris mayfield libby sajo tim Westmoreland bruce young arts editors leigh 
ablondi alice ammerman winnie hinson kathy white magazine concept & 
design editors diana brenna tom coleman kathy harward winnie hinson kathy 
white advice assistance tea & sympathy james applewhite william cranford 
kirk ridge jan martell peaches rigsbee dave darling bob douglas dan moses sue 
fishman ella fountain pratt inez fair lucy heffner susan carol robinson rees & 

O My Husband 

Casual meetings are not casual for me. 

The briefest encounter, lightest graze of eyes, 

Leaves me atremble and clutching my sides against the cold. 
Blasted by the winter of faces. 

And yet I never tell 

The softness of this seed inside the shell. 

Your quick goodbye and hasty kiss 
Crumble my brittle core 

Like the mouldering leaves under your heel. 

But I respond with equal cheer, 

My lizard’s tongue flicks off the pendant tear 

Before its fall betrays the greedy heart 

That would seize with its claws the fleeting touch. 

Oh, I think if I should ever speak a truth 
It would pry my jaws wide and rip my cheeks, 

For my mouth is shrunk to the size 
Of petty lies and quiet evasions. 

So I return to my greasy kitchen and egg-smeared plates, 
Clutching together the shards of my split skull 
Though I want to let them fall clattering to the floor. 


M irrors 

Sleep had seemed to dull his ideas as he struggled toward the 
glass to see himself. Last night he had firmly decided that they 
fit nicely and that he would begin observations in the morning. 
But now it seemed more difficult to understand any position at 
all, and certainly not one so complicated as his mirrors. 
Everything revolved around some special thought about infinity. 
That sounded so impressive to remember: infinity. 

(Now, class, if you'll open your text, we shall discuss Stephan 
Andrew's mirror theorem of infinity.) 

Those thoughts filled his normally inactive day. He woke at 
seven, breakfasted on toast and black coffee, showered, shaved 
and dressed. Then he drove to the desk for the day's work. The 
desk encased his daylight; it was always very dim as he drove 
home for dinner and reading and sleep. Very little of waking 
excited him and so he really did sleep a good deal. There he 
found musty enjoyment hearing the impotent and frustrated 
screams of the animals as they pursued him and pounced, only 
to have their claws glide through his body. But eventually he 
had to wake and go to the desk and add figures. Eva tried to be 
sympathetic when he visited her, but he only spoke of it when 
he was leaving and she was afraid to bring it up unless he forgot 
to pay. She wanted to ignore his complaints and concentrate on 
her own and so her pity grew inward and he was lonelier. 

But last night he had discovered the mirrors and it all seemed 
different, better. The vague hopes of going far away were no 
longer necessary, for far away had come to him. He could watch 
for miles in one room and see what others had wanted to see in 
slide rules and observatories. Stephan had the infinite. 

"But now I have the desk. Another day and dollar, I 


And he went in to shave, checking the mirror carefully to 
prevent himself from staring hopelessly for hours. When the two 
reflections were centered perfectly, Stephan had been caught in 
infinity: galaxies sprayed about the room, doors fluttered into 
invisible distance and there was white porcelain and chrome 
forever. The space between and in the mirrors was endless and 
familiar. He had been amazed at the splendor as he stared. Last 
night he had stood for hours, watching. He couldn't have seen it 
all if he had stayed forever, but he liked to watch while he 

But this morning he had no time. The desk was waiting. So 
Stephan merely stroked the smoothness as he thought of the 
backstage of the cold surface. 

And with that Stephan lost infinity. Not even the early 
morning could hide the end. His infinity died when Stephan 
stroked the mirror and felt that it was flat. And that no matter 
what he did, two very straight, very square glasses could not give 
him infinity. Up to the edge, down to the edge, out each side to 
the edge and half an inch down — that was all. No eternity 
could come from such a strict and ordinary piece of glass. 

Stephan stared at the glass for two hours. 

Then he showered, shaved and drove to the desk for the day. 
That night he did not read and did not go to Eva's, though it 
was Wednesday. He went back to his sleep all evening and part 
of the night, but he woke in the darkness and lay still, listening 
to the ticking of a clock. 

A clock ticked distantly as he lay in the darkness where he'd 
awakened. He had slept all evening and part of the night, 
deserting Eva's Wednesday and his reading to dream of the 
imagined infinity. The day he had spent at the desk had been 
long, especially after the disillusion of the morning. He had 
shaved and showered in greyed defeat. 

He had simply stared at the now—empty and mocking glass 
for hours. 

That was all it really was — glass, defined by its shallowness 
and edges. Its limits were obvious. Infinity could never be drawn 
from here; no one could really have seen a glory in such straight 
and rigid edges. It had only two dimensions: the undeveloped 
third was merely a very flat surface which even a sleepy Stephan 
had recognized as dull. His strokes had found the firm 


It was all destroyed so quickly with simple caresses. He was 
only going to touch it and go to the desk. His time had been 
short and he had avoided the temptations to stare because the 
mirrors demanded all time for their secrets. 

The night before it had taken him hours to pull himself 
away. Its flashing recurrence had blinded him: fixtures flew 
constantly between the endless mirrors, while thousands — 
millions of rooms floated from the two surfaces. He had lined 
them painstakingly and then danced through the glittering 
sprayed galaxies as if in a never-ending palace or an endless 
flashing stream. The night had overwhelmed him, so he had 
guarded his eyes that morning. 

He had been very practical and prepared for the desk. 

Such practicality was almost unendurable, for Stephan had 
the eternity that men had been searching for for thousands of 

years. His thoughts of travel and adventure were almost 

unnecessary then; he had everything. Just the discovery of the 
mirror that night had changed it all. 

He no longer needed to worry about his tiny life. The 
loneliness could be lost in the size of his new world. Eva and 
her self-centered worries no longer mattered; she could drop her 
false sympathy now. He would leave her and all of his details 
for the abstractions of the glass. Adding figures at the desk had 
to remain to keep him alive, but the dreams which pleased him 
were more real. He was excited as he chased the mysterious 
dream animals and suddenly leaped through them. That had 
always cheered him and consequently he really did sleep a good 
deal so that he could find his musty joys and leave his routine. 

The routine encased his daylight, but in the morning he had 

trained himself to be quick so that he could dream more. But 
the mirrors were more important now. The eager admiration the 
discovery would bring filled his thoughts. 

(Stephan Andrew's mirror theorem of infinity will be our 
next topic for discussion, so if you'll open your text we shall 

Infinity was so awing to think of, but Stephan had done it, 
at least for a while. The mirrors were the center as he worked to 
rebuild his thoughts. But he was barely awake and such 
complicated thoughts were difficult for him; even simple ideas 
made him feel dull. He had promised himself that he would 
begin observations in the morning; the concepts had fallen 
together so elegantly before. But sleep had seemed to dull his 
ideas as he struggled toward the glass to see himself. 


Sleep had seemed to dull his ideas as he struggled toward the 
glass to see himself. But as he approached he began to recall the 
lost joy of his problem. He watched carefully as he moved in 
the glass. Just one mirror was all he could see and it showed a 
confused face on a backdrop of cracked and dirty green tiles. He 
closed the door and opened the medicine cabinet to line its 
surface with the full-length one on the back of the door. And 
after they were aligned he began to watch, watching 
determinedly and objectively, trying not to be swept into the 
cycle. But the mirrors deepened and he watched. The flat 
squares showed him their secrets and he knew what it was he 
saw. He had looked so long for the infinity he had imagined 
that he had not understood when he saw it. He had conceived 
of a huge and grandly infinite stream, but the mirrors had 
shown him a tiny eternity, and endlessly divisible set of space 
where there was always another interior frame to see. The ten 
feet between the mirrors was a river without source or mouth, a 
prison from which light and Stephan could never escape. And as 
he watched, he smiled softly. 


And as he smiled softly he watched his soft smile and smiled 
at its softness. 




Again. The same charred, scaled fear again 

As you roll up the corners of centuries with quick, brisk steps, 

With eyes locked down, hands in pockets and lips 

Pressed to silence: you and the man in the shadow of your shame. 

You crack nearer on the same narrow sidewalk, 

Crushing the brittle barrier of history as you go: 

His Skin is Black; and though you’d have him know 
Your mind, you gaze past him at the great stone wall-- 

The great, old wall of coarse, cracked stone. 

Yes, children have constructed equally formidable walls 
And have torn them down in great mock battles; 

But now as your eyes meet, as you meet the man’s soul, 

In that thunderously decisive and vanishing moment 

A meat clean scream of hump heaves up 

And clogs your throat, floods your mouth, and just 

As those crumbling moss rocks tumble down on your moment 

He grins: “Hey, man!” and your dream shatters into little pieces. 
You don’t even hear your own reply. 

It is weeks before you know what has happened. 



TOUR OF DUTY, JULY 13, 1969. 

We were watching TV when 

it came through the wall in the next room 
Cracked the world black in both ears on my back 
quick-clap gray and black 
too quick and thick to breathe. 

The major's room. 

God . God, wake up. we need you 
Asleep on his back in that bolt 
of big hot razor chunks. 

He did not die for seventeen minutes he was not the major anymore. 
The Lieutenant howled and smashed things. I called for a 

Bones gave him a shot and wrapped his head in white gauze saying 
fucking iesus fucking jesus fucking iesus 

As the Old Man's open-handed 

stiff body jerked up 

like a rocking chair all that time. 

The chopper came quick but too late, 

and the major was gone from us. 

It was just the one rocket. 

We cleaned up. 

The others went to bed, 

except for Bones, who got drunk. 

I sat by the radio and watched its dust 
and all I could think of was hamburger. 


i snapshot in your wallet 

while you were in the shower, 
i spent a long time 
looking at a picture of a 
man with his arms around you, 
and slowly i turned into the 
person holding the camera, 
looking out at 

two people standing up on an 

autumn hill, 

in a clearing in the 

dying leaves, in 

perfect afternoon sun... 

i kept yelling that you would 

come out awful small 

but you didn't hear and i 

took the picture anyhow, 

just as you came 

dripping out of the shower 


an intimate little number 

feeling very much like 

the first time 

feeling the earth 

slipping away slowly 

the moon has pulled us away 

oneness like a 

statue of lovers 

ail of one rock 

like the sea 



one feather fell 
spinning and tumbling 
from a bird lost high in the sun 
i picked it up 

and waved away the winter 
and carry it to this day 

i turned out the light 
and went downstairs to bed 
without a word to the dreams behind 
the moon came up 
behind a hill of clouds 
and carried the dreams away 

thunder and fireflies 
blowing through the trees at night 
the streets are wet but i didn't hear rain 
i walked outside and 
screamed goddammit 
why can't you learn to rain 

i looked up 

and the sky went grey and green 
a bird sang out and the rain poured down 



etihis weffdepla^d 

towers to the sky 
morning finds them 
reaching again 

pulling themselves 
up by the air 
at night they stand 
whistling and stiff 
clues to the 
ages of the stars 
pointing nearly to eternity 

shadows and sharp angles 
not rubbed by rivers 
but split and splintered 
and carved by 
flashing mallets and chisels 
and lightning 



in blue blue sky 

there was a 

silver-white streak 

faster than any bird 

not and then brightness 

to a flash and 

nothing left 

to dive into the 

cruel air 

nothing left to 

burn in short 

screaming beauty 

past the sky-tall stone 

and into the tops of the pine trees 

not a cloud in sight 

and no one to believe 

a second of it 

the air eats falling things 
faster than that 


bedtime story 

aww, what the hell... 

here it is, the typewriter's out, jeweled escapement and 

pecking/slapping sounds ready to tell it, 

what i can keep stored until time to type it comes.... 

mostly this is something i've written 

twice on paper, before, and 

too many times, in my head., it's about 

a girl named deann, which may or may not be her real name, 

depending on whether or not you are, in fact, innocent, and 

whether or not i am tottering between sleep and flying, 

beer and profs this afternoon (engineering makes odd bedfellows, yes?) 

beer and trying to dance to jukebox of movie themes and Christmas carols 

until a little while ago... 


deann was a friend of mv sister's, both being two years younger, and 

incestuous pasts aside, and she was not four-ten, and 

she had a not-straight spine which she was supposed to get 

operated on, some summer, and 

one night, in the natural course of things, she was 

spending the night with priscil la and prisci I la went up to bed 

leaving us to watch the tv but we weren't watching it 

by the time the flag went up and the jets streaked by... 

amazed, i was, and even more when she announced that, sometime 

towards the end of the groping, wet-kissing, that she had never kissed 

a boy before, and my eyes rolled away, 

flashing to another odd-but-proper evening when i was the one to 

tell someone just as strange that i'd been a virgin a week ago- 

i still believe in nature, sure, but 

i'll put my money on the movies now, any day, 

everybody knows what they're doing, but who told jane fonda how? 

well, eventually she went up to bed, and i retired to the basement, 

where i did a little wondering before i slept... 

the next morning was swell, the shit lists growing, the fans 

(for that is what i call those who begat me) knew damn well, as did 

prisci I la and it's all well and fine that such things go on, at school, 

but not in their house, and with her friend, doo dah, doo dah.... 

somehow deann wangled her way over to our house that afternoon, and 

trapped me in my basement hovel, surrounded by my own fears, what if, 

with a body as odd as hers, she has a hymen like vulcanized rubber, 

and, oddities aside, the whole virginity thing, fear of the unknowable, 

what could it be like, -surely, even with the trojans handy, 

responsibility lies somewhere, here... 

yup, i was trapped, she, weighing in at 85 pounds wanted whatever 

she thought i had for her so badly that she physically, 

i mean, legs around the steel post and arms around me, a wrestler ready to 

take me on, twice her weight, in the worst way... 

can't say how long it took to convince her to come on back upstairs, 

but it seemed like a lifetime, to get her to come up of her own free will... 


it looked like a bad day in black rock at the top of the stairs, 
mother and priscilla not knowing what to do, how to relate, 
knowing that this was not a case of college man seducing highschool girl 
(conscience lies in me, somewhere, to this day, but even more when i sleep 
under the roof of the fans), but they damn well couldn't understand that 
it was, in fact, this woman-child who was managing to embarrass me with her 
instinctive will-to-be-laid... 

so it had to be instinct, but it was just as real as all i hope to know, 
and, this being the end of some snowy vacation, i made up an excuse to 
go over to her house when she told me her folks wouldn't be home, 
to say goodbye, 

and she hadn't put on a bra, her little breasts, half nipples, and 

i remembered that she said she had a bruise where the buttons of my jeans had 

done her unkindly, and she touched me, apologizing for not knowing what to do 

she came, shivering, with very little help from my hands, and we talked some mo 

and i left, waving as i drove away, tires feeling for traction in the new snow... 

heard little things, she had taken to carrying a bible around, senior year 

in high school, and went away to college as far as she could from home.... 

had a boyfriend, had started smoking... 

this summer at the sink mother turned and said 

i guess priscilla hasn't told you, since you haven't seen each other- 

deann lastname died a while ago, away at school... 

she had been having fainting spells, and one day just fainted and 

never came back, 

the doctors weren't sure why... 

that's about it. seems a little old now, since all this thinking and 
typing has sobered me up some, and i usually don't have any trouble 
thinking about it... it's just when i'm a little gone, sometimes high 
and alone before sleep comes around, that i have to write, to look 
out the window at the ground for a while... 



A Bamboo Fence 

The man watched the woman walk briskly across the runway 
towards the jet. She began mounting the flight stairs one at a time, 
jerkily, as if she’d been peeled from a 1939 newsreel of Hitler’s 
troops and then pasted onto the field. She mounted the last two as 
she had the rest, placing her right foot by her left each time. 

He had kissed her on the cheek, told her in clipped tones to be 
sure and take her Valium, not to think about the height, to tell her 
mother he was sorry he could not come (if the poor thing could 
comprehend), as he had so much pressing business to straighten 
out at the office, not to worry, that the old lady would pull 
through. She had gazed at him for a few seconds: a kind of wild 
fire in her gaze; she passed the tip of her tongue over her parched 
lips and turned. Her face was shiny — perhaps from perspiration. 
After all, it was a warm day, although rain was predicted. He had 
pulled her back around and kissed her on the mouth. For a 
half-second. She had turned back and begun goose-stepping across 
the runway. He stood there for a long time, his knee resting 
against the chain that barricaded the gate entrance. 

A fat man in a dark suit holding his hat on his head, prodded 
by the wind, half-ran, half-sailed towards the plane. The wind 
seemed assertive for such a warm day. But, then, they had 
predicted rain. The fat little man dropped his briefcase; he whirled 
and stooped as if depicting an interpretive dance, retrieved it, and 
ran again, his hand once more at the brim of his hat. His hips 
wobbled as he moved, his pants legs ballooning about him so that 
he formed a bobbing black triangle against the cream concrete of 
the runway. 

The man at the gate entrance blinked and squinted. He twisted 
the wedding band around on his left ring finger. There was her 
face in one of the tiny oval windows. It looked very white. His 
right arm waved. Her opened fingers appeared beside her face in 
the oval glass. 

A young woman was moving across the field. She was not 
running. She walked carefully, as if trying to match her feet with a 
long narrow line. She followed the unseen line towards the jet. 
Each time she put one foot forward, the opposite hip slunk into 
her body. It was not jaunty precision: it was swaying, hypnotic, 
rhythmic. Her hair, black but filtered with gold from a weak 
sun-glare, tossed about her head as if whipped by an egg beater. It 


seemed to the man watching that she portrayed the gliding plane 
itself, with her hair the propeller. No — the dark clouds scrambled 
by the propeller. She carried a large tan-and-black patchwork 
shoulder bag. It banged against her left hip when her left foot 
reached out for the invisible line. The man at the gate entrance 
watched the tan-and-black bag banging. He watched with cool 
analysis smoothing his face until the hole of the plane’s door 
swallowed her up. Little pin-striped men rushed out to wheel the 
flight stairs away. 

A roaring symphony in his ear suddenly united the man with 
the engine of the plane. He blended with the engine and felt one 
with its power, yet such oneness shrank him to a nothingness till 
he seemed smaller than even the triangular fat man who had 
dotted the field. The scurrying refuse from the ground invaded his 
eyes. He squeezed them shut. Then he opened them to watch his 
wife’s white face inside the oval until the plane became an oval 
itself — a black oval in the sky. He watched her white face even 
after that; all the way past the phone booths and to the magazine 
booth he watched it. 

At the magazine booth he picked up a copy of Newsweek and 
laid two quarters on the counter. Actually, he should subscribe to 
Newsweek instead of Time. But then, she had sent in a 
subscription to U.S. News and World Report. He didn’t like a pile 
of magazines on the coffee table, already outdated before he got 
around to them. Such inefficiency annoyed him. He scanned the 
topics on the Contents page, closed the magazine and doubled it in 
his hand. He drew out of his mutilated package of Larks the only 
cigarette he had allowed himself for the day. Got to quit. Always 
been a healthy sonofabitch. Always been full of gumption and will 
power and go-getter grit. 

“God, am I ever crazy about you! You know I'm crazy about 
you, don’t ya?” He heard choked words from a soldier boy just 
feet away from him, just decades behind him. He stuffed the 
Newsweek under his arm and stared at the cold, innocent head and 
the staunch body boasting its uniform. He glimpsed the boy’s 
hand cuffed in olive drab, a strangely small hand which gripped 
girl’s so that the knuckles shone white against her chapped 
pinkness. The girl’s back was turned to the man at the magazine 
booth, but he saw her pallid hair streaking the upturned collar of 
her all-weather coat; he could see runs slicing her stockings, 


revealing strips of white skin through the too-bronze tint of the 
nylon. Her shoulders were hunched: her stiffness suggested an 
alarmed bird poised like marble before breaking into frantic flight. 
The soldier’s face was bent towards her and was blurred by 
shadows from the booth’s overhang, so the man could not see his 
features, but he filled them in with imagination. All that mattered, 
anyway, was the urgency beneath his words and the chalkiness of 
those knuckles. 

“Will ya write me....even more than when you have time? 

The man with the Lark dangling from his lip passed them and 
shoved open the door to the coffeeshop. 

He watched the red apronstrings vibrating against his waitress’s 
wiggle while she prepared his coffee behind the counter. She 
brought it to him with a scarred face (had she been gouged in a 
dark alley once? he wondered). He dumped two bags of sugar and 
a teaspoon of cream into the coffee; the white aliens swirled with 
its current, mitigating the dark pool only to lighter shades of 
darkness — mellowing into tan. For an instant his cup seethed with 
steaming black-and-tan ripples, and he remembered the patchwork 
bag banging from the shoulder of the woman mounting his wife’s 
plane. From the back she had been a beautiful woman, definitely a 
beautiful woman, her sable hair now seeming to catch reflections 
from the black patches, now reflections from the tan. The image 
joggled around like a kaleidoscope in his mind. It pecked 
tauntingly at his nerve strings, insisting that a similar image 
crouched further back in his past. This anonymous nuisance, the 
other image whimpered for release. 

His wife Audrey had been beautiful once. Go-getter Paul and 
Beautiful Audrey. But hers was a beauty that had always 
frustrated him. Even when they were children. Theirs had been 
one of those Mom-and-apple pie, boy-marries-girl-next-door 
romances. Except this was an across-the-street-down-a-block- 
variation. He remembered how he used to stare out the window to 
see when she got off the bus, as she would often stay at school the 
optional hour for violin practice. He liked to watch her uppity, yet 
totally unselfconscious, beauty. Watching her in secrecy had 
inspired him once — along with the coming of spring — to fashion 
a love poem and sneak it into her desk when Miss Elliott turned 
her back to write phonetics on the board. His attempt at wooing 


was rejected, however, since Audrey soon discovered it was not 
original, but copied from a Japanese poet: 

“By the way of pretext 
I said ‘I will go 
And look at 

The condition of the bamboo fence’, 
But it was really to see you!” 

Yakamochi, from the eighth century. Paul scrawled bits of the 
poem onto the napkin which underlined his coffeecup. The 
still-trapped words tapped at his memory relentlessly until he 
evoked them all. He gazed at the finished scheme trumpeting itself 
on the stark napkin. Then, purposely, he sloshed some coffee over 
the edge to further stain the inkstains. He smiled wryly, for he had 
destroyed the chastity of the napkin. Again he suddenly 
thundered with the power of the plane’s engine; he smiled again, 
because one smiles when one holds the destiny of a napkin in 
one’s own hand. 

That other image again tugged; then it began to emerge from 
somewhere far back among the dregs of his life’s pieces. It burst 
out, unshackled. It was of another soldier’s uniform, one 
attempting in vain to warm an already cold body. The body lay 
stretched out on the screen in his memory, and then the screen 
filled with the dampness of a foxhole, shallow and sloshy — a 
typical, ordinary foxhole. There were mudstains on the boy’s 
uniform — a typical, ordinary uniform — the mudstains suddenly 
more vivid than either coffeestains or inkstains. The boy had dived 
in behind Paul, only an instant at his heels. Blood had stifled the 
trench, and he couldn’t tell if it were blood pounding from his 
own head or from the boy’s. Philippines, 1943. A 
nineteen-year-old boy from West Virginia. His name was Eddie. 
None of the guys in the barracks had ever gotten very close to 
him. Bits of shrapnel and cortex splattered with the mud. “Oh!” 
had whispered Eddie’s surrender at Paul’s feet. Just a resigned 
“oh,” with his sweet, rosebud mouth puckered into a tiny oval. 
Like the oval window where Paul’s wife was now sitting in the 
plane. Oval specks in the midst of huge whirling creation and 
cessation. The word “obligation” flashed onto his mental screen, 
replacing the foxhole scene. A mob of wretched, haunting 
obligations sandwiched somewhere between the moment of 
creation and the moment of cessation. And what might happen to 


his idealism — the only truth Paul knew — if obligation should be 
hastened aside and forgotten? 

He had run his fingers through the boy’s blonde curls and had 
begun tugging at the limp boots. Once cast aside, they revealed 
black-and-tan checkered argyle socks. Protectively caressing 
Eddie’s tired ankles and forever insisting that Mom loves him. 
Their pattern darted in staccato between shadows and spotlights 
behind the eyes of Paul, the Man-with-the-Lark. 

By the way of pretext... Strange that he should remember that 
silly poem. But now that he thought about it, he had always 
seemed to watch Audrey from behind a screen, just like that 
Japanese boy in the poem, peering at his girl through the stalks of 
bamboo. His and Audrey’s love affair had flowered, had been 
watered and pampered and carefully pruned. Now, with her 
mother dying, she needed him and he could not help her. He felt 
stripped of all muscle. After fifteen years of marriage, and here he 
was wondering if women carrying black-and-tan shoulderbags also 
carry romantic names. Like “Erin.” Or maybe “Lauren.” Or 
whatever other names are romantic... 

He sipped his coffee while he stared at her. There she was, as if 
conjured up by voodoo or fabricated by his mind. The 
black-and-tan shoulderbags blazoned unmistakably. She sat down 
in the booth ahead of him with a toss of her black hair. It guiltily 
stained her ivory-colored raincoat, defiling the half-upturned 
collar. Paul picked up his coffee, the napkin suctioned to the 
bottom of the cup, and moved trancelike to sit facing her. 

“Pardon me. Didn’t I just see you get on that plane?” 

Her eyes laid on him bewitchingly, slowly. 

“I mean, excuse me, but I just put my wife on that plane, and I 
thought I saw you go across the field...well, actually, you 
reminded me of a friend of ours, of my wife’s and mine, so I 

“I had to tell my husband a last-minute something...” 

He spoke as if someone else was punching the control buttons 
for his words :“But hadn’t you told him goodbye yet?” 

“Yes. I had told him goodbye seventy-two no, seventy-three, 
times already.” She plucked at the scarf around her neck and blew 
at her coffee nervously, annoyedly. Paul wondered if he had 
engrossed her. He worried a little about the paunch that strained 
his belt. Not much of one, really; it had come there only over the 


past couple years, yet this woman might notice it right away. But 
surely he had engrossed her. 

“You must love him very much,” he said as he squashed his 
Lark filter into the yawning ashtray. 

“I do.” 

She was a straightforward girl, this girl, with no pretext about 
her. “What is your name?” he droned. “Just your first name.” 

“I’m sorry, but...” 

“No, c’mon — just your first name.” He was an alcoholic 
wheedling for just one last shot of whisky. 

She thought a moment. She came to a noble revelation, that 
there is at least one time in everyone’s life when one does not 
reject absurdity with horror, but instead penetrates its ghastly 
crust to perceive with compassion its pathetic soul. “My name is 
Catherine,” she said softly. 

“Ah, Catherine. As in Catherine Earnshaw Linton of Wuthering 
Heights ,” he said. 

“It’s really a very plain name.” 

“No, it’s not.” He felt pangs of uneasiness returning — or 
maybe they were more of awareness. “Well, I just wondered...” he 
shrugged, “ look so much like a friend of ours...of my wife’s 
and mine...” He got up with his coffeecup and almost extended his 
hand, but didn’t. She smiled. 

He left a tip for the scarfaced waitress. In contrast, he 
remembered the pastel clarity of Eddie the Soldier’s skin, how its 
perfection blended with those Adonis curls. He had tried to look 
up the boy’s parents when he returned to the States a few years 
later, after he had come back from J apan with the occupational 
forces. He had tried again twelve years ago. He had never thought 
much about what he would tell them—what would you say to 
parents whose son you had seen die? 

...“Mr. and Mrs. Eddie the Solder’s Parents: I just wanted you 
to know that Eddie died instantly and without pain, with a 
peaceful submission in his face, in his complexion, in his hair, and 
in his uniform. He died a good soldier — with his boots on. Our 
company had been crawling across bamboo-camouflaged enemy 
trenches and they fired within seconds. There was nothing I-er-I 
mean, we-could do. All he said was ‘Oh,’ and nothing else... I just 
wanted you to know I was there when your son died...” 

He had never been able to locate them. Maybe they were 


nonexistent, Eddie’s name a fictitious one. He had done all he 
could — why did he have to feel badly that those feet in argyle 
socks, instead of his, had squirmed and then sighed into a 180 
degree angle? 

Audrey would soon be at her mother’s hospital bed and he on 
his way home from the airport to feed the dog. Audrey had 
probably left a can of Frisky’s out on the cabinet so he wouldn’t 
forget. She was a good woman, Audrey. Damn, where had all her 
beauty gone? Perhaps if only her name had been different...given 
differently...a different given name...a married name given 
differently...a more giving name...given more to giving, giving not 
more of her silly coyness, but of inspiration and adventure... 

Giving. Thanksgiving and Christmas, also Halloween. He 
soothed the perplexed warmth of his wedding band with his right 
forefinger, pompously assuring it of its righteousness. Suddenly a 
wrinkle strained his forehead: he remembered one night in the 
years before they were married when he had sat in the old Buick 
with Audrey and stroked her fingers and looked at the moon. His 
mind pushed Replay Button and the tape whirred backwards : 

“You’re all peaches and cream, ya know that?” 

(A twist of her head away to hide the pleasure in her dimples.) 

“Gee, buddy, what’re you tryin’ to prove?” 

(An extra squeeze on her index finger, probably a little 
awkwardly carried off, for she started almost clear up through the 
ceiling of the car.) 

“I’m just tryin’ to ask you...d’you mind...if I fall for you?” 

(A long pause while her face scrutinized even more fervently 
her windowpane. She cleared her throat.) 

“How hard?” 

(Here was this girl he’d known practically all his life, and now 
they were grown up, and yet they were still playing 

“Christ, Audrey, like a ton of bricks!” 

(He spread his sweating hands and dangled them over the 
steering wheel. She turned and looked at him, her windowpane 
apparently sufficiently inspected. Paul could tell by perception 
through his Instant Replay that there had been no barrier, no 
pretext between them...for only that moment.) 

“I accept that, Paul,” she said. “Oh, I accept that, honey. I 
accept it...(she paused)...givingly...if ya know what I mean.” 


He didn’t know what she had meant...Strange that she should 
have said that. Strange woman, Audrey. Strange that she should 
love him with such insanity. That she should still love him, after 
fifteen years. Very impetuous and irrational woman. Too bad her 
figure was shot. Too bad her mother had to be dying. Too bad he 
could feel nothing when he had kissed her at the gate entrance. 

Paul knew he’d have nightmares tonight involving black-and-tan 
monstrosities. That always happened when he got one wavelength 
hung on his mind. Like when you can’t shake a persistent tune out 
of your head. Too bad he’d never been able to find that boy’s 
parents. He would go home and drink Gallo wine with his 
spaghetti t.v. dinner while watching the football games, and then 
the old Greta Garbo flick scheduled for later. It was to be either 
“Camille” or “Mata Hari,” he had forgotten which. Or maybe he 
would flip through Wuthering Heights for a change...he had 
forgotten the plot... 

The man buttoned his raincoat up slowly from the bottom. He 
passed the phone booths and again the magazine stand. There he 
stopped. He looked at the newspaper cage with its freshly-stocked 
pink finale. He seemed to stare for a very long time. Perhaps he 
was thinking. The headlines blared of a murder trial and the 
outcome : “GUILTY IS VERDICT FOR...” The coat over the arm 
of a woman who stood next to the cage obscured the rest of the 
title. The man still stared and stared. He made no attempt to finish 
the headline. There appeared a look on his face like that of a 
genius composer struggling to thresh out grating notes from the 
gentler strains of his music, or of a bedraggled beggar trying to 
read the cards of his fate, burdened by his empty pockets after a 
day spent in vain at the streetcorners. There was a sad look in the 
man’s cheeks. He made each step very deliberate as he moved 
towards the revolving glass doors which whisked puffing, 
billowing, suitcase-laden, flustering wretches simultaneously in 
and out of the airport lobby. He was an automaton inside the 
revolving madness of glass, an empty screen inside an empty 
theater, a disembowelled shell inside a vacuum. The revolving 
doors whisked him out along with bobbing, jostling globs of 

Nobody even blinked an eye at the self-accused, the 
self-indicted, the self-convicted paperdoll tossed listlessly among 



in the History 
of Hyattsville 

There have been moments 

in the history of Hyattsville, Maryland 

when its strange citizens 

have taken their place among the trees. 

They arrive in pick-up trucks, 
on motorcycles, 

eating Little Tavern hamburgers, 
their hair greased back. 

Periods of great confusion, oil under 
the fingernails, clattering of engine blocks, 

Vitalis on the windshield. 

As we all stand by and quietly wait 

assuming it is time for all of this 
to cross over into life, 
they shut down their engines 
and seem to do nothing for years. 



Quietly Forever 

Lorry drivers will tell you that's the way it happened 

Not but a week has passed, down by the Thames 

A painter, I believe Rosseau by name, had set up his easel 

A chore he performed everyday except in the most inclement of weather 

Passing the day groping for a shaft of light or perhaps a 

facial expression, ephemeral at best 

Nonetheless, he was there first, even before the pigeons 

The roasted peanuts vendor might have also been there 

Although he usually doesn't arrive until eight or nine 

It depends on his wife, plump but affectionate 

She's late to rise some morning, never can tell 

Also a handful of people were there, milling about 

Reading the Times, strolling to work and other routines of their 


The blind harmonica player had stationed himself on a ledge 
overlooking the flow 

Occasionally some tune would make its way over to the 

other side — pause, then vanish 

And no one really saw her arrive 

At least, that's what they all claim 

The police don't know and can't find out 

They fished her body out about one half mile downstream 

She didn't speak, everyone agrees 

Very quietly she must have gotten on top of the ledge 

Rosseau saw that much and tried to call 

By then she had gone over 

Rosseau is back there today along with the blind harmonica player 

and the roasted peanuts vendor 

They only exchange brief comments about it 

They never really did speak to each other before 

What's there to say? 



the angel came 
on floodlit glory 
the trumpet blew 

A note a sickening horror from afar 
captured on tape 

echoing through the tubes and diodes 
to the thrice thousand ears 
of the drinkers of beer on Sunday afternoon 
the gates flung open 
in color fantastic 

the surging sigh of flames and souls 

was amply described 

in the coming darkness 

for hours the watchers sat enthralled 

viewing their destiny uninterrupted 

reports of earthquakes, boiling seas 

mountains of fire and more 

were tallied before their eager eyes 

hungry for the grand finale 

billed as better than the book 



Driving north while it was growing dark 
With the peeling Atlantic seaboard on the right, 
The fading light was different that day. 

Between the gas station and package store towns 
The darkness was old and thin, loose at the seams. 
The moon was gone, but still we could see 
The jagged outlines of ancient dusty trees. 

The gleam of beach and black ocean lay 
Behind us, ahead the spotted corridor of night. 


A dead robin lay on the library steps, 

Its breast the color of Carolina clay. 

Above it loomed the gray-brown, rusty 
Stone-a literate sepulchre-a monument 
Of printed pages, journals, manuscripts, and 
Letters. I cannot say what killed the bird. 

It was taxidermist perfect, but for one 
Extended wing at an unnatural angle, 

And the scaly toes in little balls. 

A dead bird on the steps- its feathers 
Slowly merging with the weathered stone. 




The funeral was predictable. Everybody somber because most 
of them had never been to a funeral before and they thought 
that’s what you were supposed to do. All the brothers in ties, all 
sitting together in the front. A show of solidarity even if most of 
them couldn’t really feel like they knew what was going on. A 
service for God? when God was left behind at home, outgrown 
and left behind as a pre-college phenomenon. And one good line 
from the preacher who managed to cut through the pious icing 
long enough to say something about understanding. And then it 
was all over. 

All over. And there was an emptiness, but its gnaw went away 
and nobody gave a damn anymore. Life Must Go On and You 
Can’t Let It Get You Down and Try To Get It Out Of Your Mind. 
So the science majors went to lab and the english majors wrote 
papers and rush went on and so did the elections. And from time 
to time somebody would get nostalgic and everybody else would 
look somber for a minute or so because that’s what they thought 
you were supposed to do, and then so as not to let it get them for 
down everybody got busy and went right on going to lab and 
parties and anything else. And successfully got it out of their 

So now it all should be out of my mind. But despite this place 
which turns the soul into a function of the intellect, my heart is 
still crying. I write this thing for one friend and to another. 
Because I can’t help believing that it is partly because of the love I 
had for the one that I so want to cry out to the other — My friend, 
please put down that piece of glass and come here and let me hold 



Quiet Violence 

. . . and after the first explosion 
That set the stars 

in the peaceful blackness of a winter sky 
I see, through the framed consciousness 
of a window, 

my blood watching the mindful sap 
of a maple tree 
quietly revolt 
against the lunatic odours 
of a December night. 


When you finally appear on the Threshold 

I wish to kneel down 

a thousand feet below you 

and like the pilgrims of holy Mecca 

urge your blessing 

in silent adoration. 

But instead 

I offer you a chair 

with a sisterly smile and ask: 

Tea or coffee 

For your share of the apple pie? 




There is more discipline 
Among us than one 
Would ever know; 

Even when spring has fallen 
We stay on to watch. 



The child's cold withered 
through his bones into 
the heart, and on 
down to his gut 
where it remained, 
scathing, searing, 
scythe bestowing 

die-hard, gushing 
blood of tears 
like a sentimental 
baboon in heat. 

Wherein, on a frigid night, 
alone, the most 
volatile of passions 
are involved. 




purple globes shining, bursting 
in the golden sun, 

Sun reflecting in the tin roofs of peasants 
Sun glinting on the water of the harbor, 

harboring ships that fish the waters 
Tonite, fat juicy fish over a fire 
And the men will huddle close and remember the sun 
The sun in the afternoon, 

When the green of the land lays heavy on the air 
And the little brown men stalk the rows 
tending their crop 

And tending their sheep on the mountainside, 
the shepherds call to the sparkling sea 
The land of flowing milk and honey 
Beneath the hot sun, 

the clear, white streams flow 
ever onward, onward 
Onward to the sea 

The men 
Dry on the land, 

Never to return to the cool water and wine, 

Bearing the heat of the sun, 

far from the lazy, heavy waters; 

Their arms twitch 

Like the fins of a dying fish, 

Harvesting their grapes under the parching sun, 
caressing each grape, 
plump with sweet water, 

The shepherds among their sheep 
cry out to the sea 
cry out under the sun 
to the sea 

restless between its shores, 
crying and crying and crying. 



Hat in hands he stands 
The balding cuckold stranger 
His eyes shed dried leaves 


The wooden stake the villagers drove 
Appears on this black Monday 
As the spire atop a Catholic church 
In the heart of a business district 




Swirling pieces of people's lives surround me. 
Snowflakes crystallized from tears and dreams. 

Driven by the winds of all our lonely destinies. 

These fragments of the selves of man collect and drift 
Around me. 

Marvellously intricate and each one different. 

Shaped like fallen stars or shattered flowers- 
And yet my snow-blurred vision scarcely sees them. 
My feet press on, stamping the snow away 
To walk the blizzard darkness of another day. 



The Road 

to Glen Jean springs 

The way between Charleston and Glen Jean Springs is either 
straight or winding: a quick sterile highway or a leaf-fallen path 
for Sunday drives. It all depends upon the person who is 
choosing the road. The three lane West Virginia turnpike is the 
pride of the engineers who laid the straight asphalt which 
tunnels through mountains in a bee-line from the capital to the 
state’s southern points, and the road way seems always too clean 
for a highway. State Route 17 is closed through much of the 
winter because of the snow in the mountains; the spring thaws 
leave wide cracks and pock holes along the narrow, doublelane 
road. The governor’s office used a winter scene photograph 
taken on Highway 17 for the official state Christmas card, but 
such obscure beauty was all the use the State had for the road. 
In springtime and fall the beauty transcends necessity and 
people turn to the road for a release from their all too real and 
all too sterile lives. But reality is the way of things and those 
who use the road will soon travel the turnpike when the state 
closes down 17 this fall. The road will be released for it is no 
longer needed. It is important that I get to Ohio as soon as I 
can, so I will travel the turnpike this trip, but coming back I 
would like to take 17 once more. 

The spring thaws were unusually heavy this year and we had 
floods in Glen Jean Springs. Our farm was on higher ground, the 
waters did very little damage to the land and crops, but the 
town had suffered much and civil service organizations 
undertook clean-up very soon after the waters had receded. The 
Red Cross people from Charleston posted lists of persons who 
were missing and homeless and asked those of us who could to 
take families into our homes until things could be put to order. 
Groups of volunteers from Ohio and Pennsylvania began arriving 
in the second week and each was assigned a different area to put 
straight. I volunteered and was placed in a group who was to 
clean and repair our only church, the Protestant Church which 
stood on the corner of William and Henry Streets. It had stood 
longer than any single building in Glen Jean and was the only 
landmark, other than the dry spring, which distinguished Glen 
Jean from many other villages along the Kanawha River. The 
church dated back to the time when the spring was supposed to 


have worked magic for people with bad bones. In those days, 
the parish of the church was an honored one and the people 
were proud and vain when they chose a minister, wanting only a 
man with a name to lead the service. The present building was 
put up just prior to the depression when many proud and vain 
congregations here and other places erected buildings to their 
new found piety. The church was ticky-tacky beautiful: the 
gaudy pulpit carved from cherry, the ivy-green ferned carpet, 
and the marble altar and table all pointed out each other’s 
absurdity in a small community church. But the people had 
been proud and vain when they had given the money for the 
building and thought the emotion was gone, the building still 

It was at the church that I first met Kenny, who had come in 
on Highway 17 from somewhere in southern Ohio to help in the 
clean-up. Nat arrived the same day from Akron and they both 
were talking about their trips when I approached them. The first 
sentence I can remember Nat saying was “The damn turnpike 
was closed between Montgomery and Scarboro and I had to take 
the worst route I’ve ever travelled in my life.” 

—“That’s the way I came in” 

—“You both came in on Highway 17?” 

I had with that interruption started a triangle which lasted 
throughout our week of work together. 

The people of Glen Jean needed a disaster to bring them 
together. The weeks of work following the flood brought out in 
the people a family feeling of unity which enveloped all who 
had come to help the town. The week was one for people to 
share and what I was to share and learn from Nat and Kenny 
would not have come to be without the flood. 

The main work on the church was completed on Monday 
when the big vacuum machines and shovels were brought in by 
the Red Cross people. Nat was one of those assigned to a 
machine, for he had had much experience with mechanical 
objects before and it seemed natural that he should work with 
one of the electric vacuums. Kenny was not good with his hands 
and he and I were asked to help shovel the mud from the 
basement Sunday school rooms. As the crews split up for the 
morning’s work, I asked where Nat wanted to have lunch so 
Kenny and I could meet him. 

—“I don’t care, just so I can get my stomach full of 
something other than beans and coffee” 


Kenny said, “I know, let’s not eat today and say we are 
fasting for the flood, you know for the people who died or lost 
their homes or something.” 

—“Jesus Christ, do you think that is going to do anything? 
Us not eating cause some people couldn’t think to build flood 
walls or dams to keep this from happening.” 

—“Well, I just thought it would make us feel closer, you 
know us going through something just like they did and that we 
could work better, knowing something about how they feel” 
-“The only thing that will make me work better is to get 
some decent food for Chrissake.” 

I tried to straighten things out by saying 

—“Why don’t we just eat on our own and get together after 
our work this afternoon?” 


—“Yeah sure, Jesus Christ, fasting. I don’t believe it” 

I had thought it was a silly idea, too, but being with Kenny 
that morning showed me where he would think doing that 
would make a difference. As we waded through the thick mud 
he said “Isn’t it silly that we are cleaning out the mud just so it 
will be like it was, instead of letting this place sink and starting 
over?” and I answered, avoiding the question, that that was a 
good idea but not really very practical especially in the case of a 
famous place like the church. 

—“They ought to sell tickets, then.” 


—“Never mind.” 

He was thinking somewhere else. 

Up ahead where the road widens into four lanes the turnpike 
is no different than any other road in any other state. As a 
three lane highway people know they are on the West Virginia 
Turnpike and they curse because no other state would think of 
charging money to travel such a backward road but West 
Virginia. A man who ran for governor a few years said he 
thought that the turnpike should be made into four lanes and 
when he won it became clear that the road was going to become 
four lane. I don’t think people will know just where they are on 
a fourlane road through these mountains. 

Highway 17 crosses the turnpike at three different places, 
each time in a different name. The first comes just above 


Burnwell where the road is named Tornado Rd. alter the 1937 
tornado which touched down outside of the Burnwell city 
limits. The twister had done no damage but because gravel was 
thrown from the road, the people of the area got together and 
decided the road should be paved. The second cross is an 
overpass where the road is named Milburn-Kingston Highway 
only because this stretch of road is between those two towns 
and the last passage is named Windmill Rd., but I don’t know 
why. There was probably a windmill near here some time 
before, but I don’t know. 

At lunch we didn’t see Nat so we walked down to a food 
tent for a meal. Kenny decided not to eat and walked up the 
road to play with some children. As I sat eating my plate of 
beans I first noticed how young Kenny looked. Playing 
ball-games with the different aged children of the town, he 
seemed much more at home there than with the strong-faced 
workers at the church. His blond hair did not have the gray 
shade which usually comes with adolescence and his un-lined 
face surrounded by pure yellow hair was very child-like. I could 
see him laughing and when he opened his mouth his eyes did 
not become sinister as some eyes do. Instead they half-closed 
and from where I sat seemed to shine light. I think it may have 
been from tears, but I couldn’t tell. 

When it became time to return to the church for the 
afternoon, Kenny told me that he thought he would stay with 
the children. Resenting his freedom, but respecting it also, I said 
that I thought I would go back but that tonight we could do 

Walking down William Street towards the church I met Nat 
on the way back from his lunch. 

—“Where’s Kenny?” 

“Oh, he decided to stay and play with some of the town 
kids. He didn’t like the work much and he said he would rather 
be with people.” 

—“Goddamn, does he think we’re here to have fun? I don’t 
think he understands that whether he likes what he is doing is 
unimportant, that it is important that the job we are doing gets 
done. I swear somebody better straighten him out because 
sometime he is going to run out of people to take care of him 
and play up to his ignorant cartoon character.” 


I hadn’t understood the relationship between them until Nat 
and I talked that afternoon. The big machines had been used 
and returned at the break and those who had worked them 
joined our crew in the basement. I spent the day beside Nat and 
I began to understand things. 

—‘’Yes, I knew him before we got here. We went to a church 
camp on the lake last summer and bunked together for the five 
days. He arrived a day late because one of his uncles or 
somebody had died and he was upset and needed somebody to 
talk at—not to because I couldn’t have helped him, we sat in the 
cabin and I listened for hell it must have been four or five hours 
and all I ever said was ‘yeah’ or ‘I understand’ or other things 
that didn’t mean much. I really can’t remember anything of 
what he said: none of it made any sense or seemed important 
but after he finished he was crying and everything so I tried to 
talk to him. I told him that I understood and that, I think I 
remember what I said, it was something like ‘the loss of one 
person means the finding of someone else.’ It was something I 
had read in some book about death where a bunch of prayers 
and songs and things are supposed to make someone who loses 
somebody feel better. My mom got one from her sister when 
her mother died. It laid around the house and when I needed 
something to read, you know like when I was eating breakfast 
or going to the bathroom or something I’d pick up and read it. 
It’s a pretty fakey idea, collecting a bunch of garbage like that 
and printing it, but I guess it helps some people. That one line 
was the only thing I could think of to say to Kenny, cause I 
didn’t know him or his uncle, I think it was his uncle, at all and 
I hadn’t really listened the whole night so it seemed like a 
pretty nice thing to say. I guess it made him feel better anyway. 
Well the rest of the week he followed me around and we messed 
around you know swimming and football and a bunch of queer 
stuff and that’s about all we did. He was screwy, but doing that 
kind of junk, he was fun to be with. We really didn’t talk much 
the rest of the week, but Kenny kept on saying weird stuff like 
he’s been saying here. Being at camp with him was okay when 
we were only supposed to have fun, but here where we are 
doing something really important, his goddam playing and 
immaturity really makes me sick. I kind of hope he quits writing 
me after this, oh that’s the other thing. Did I tell you he writes 


me all the time? He sends me those cards with pictures that 
have those stupid sayings on them like ‘This is the shape that 
friends are made of’ or ‘you took me from the dark, but I still 
need your light,’ and on the envelope he always writes ‘the loss 
of one means the finding of another.’ I guess he liked that line. 
I never really write him back unless I got church news or 
something, but he keeps sending me those damn cards.” 

I think I understood them after hearing Nat’s story, but that 
understanding made me very uncomfortable. 

That night was like the next as the day was like all the five 
days we had in Glen Jean. The crews broke for dinner and those 
who wished to met back at the church for a service and a talk 
of the days happenings. We drank cider and ate donuts and 
played adult group games or sensitivity sessions led by the 
Christian Council people who had come. When a game called for 
three people, Kenny, Nat and I were together and when one 
needed two we didn’t play. We played together as we worked 
together, in silence about ourselves. I never really got to know 
either of them because that was the way Nat wanted it and the 
way it had to be with Kenny. Each night was closed with 
meditations from the workers and prayers for Glen Jean and her 
people and those who had come to help. Nat never stayed for 
these, leaving to get to bed early for the next day, but Kenny 
always sat and listened with the same light in his half-closed 
eyes that I had seen when he was laughing. 

There is only one tunnel on the Turnpike and its name is 
Memorial Tunnel. Each trip I make I always think about 
stopping and reading the plaque to see in whose memory people 
would put a hole in a mountain, but each time I pass through 
without stopping. I think it would be to the workers who died 
building it, but 1 don’t know. This time I will stop, because one 
should do those things which are thought out in the mind, to 
see if things are as they seem to be. 

After the first days the work seemed boring. The days 
dragged and slowly became the week which we were to have 
worked and the people who had come to the village to help 
began to ready themselves to leave. This evening’s service at the 
church did not have the usual games. The minister of the church 
had returned from Charleston and he led a service for those who 
had died. In his talk, he thanked all the groups who had helped 


and encouraged the townspeople to “begin anew in the struggle 
for the Kingdom of God” and as the service came to a close, in 
everyone’s minds this week seemed a proud accomplishment. 
After the service, the workers held their last prayer and 
meditation meeting and Nat decided to stay, not having to wake 
in the morning. Kenny sat listening to those who spoke, but his 
eyes were not as they had been before. 

I could tell that he wanted very much to say something to 
this group of people. I couldn’t think of what he could have to 
say, for during the week he had talked to none of us, and had 
not seemed to enjoy the little work he did. The others in the 
group first felt his strange ways were entertaining but as the 
work began to seem longer, his funny words and light way and 
his shunning of responsibility caused a resentment towards 
Kenny which even I had begun to feel. When his courage 
peaked, he asked the Christian Council leader if he could talk. 
As if wondering what Kenny could have to say, he said of 
course everyone is free to speak. 

“I know many of you feel that my ways are silly, that I am 
too young to be here. And that really doesn’t bother me. I 
know why most of you came here this week and your reasons 
are much different than mine. You had to come, either because 
it was your work or it was your conscience. Either way it was a 
need, a need to know that your lives mean something. And this 
need shows how little you understand, for life’s meaning is not 
something you can give to your own life, but something 
someone, one other person, gives to you. No matter how hard 
you try to be important or good or loving, it is only when 
someone says to you in some way ‘yes, you are important, you 
axe good, you are loving’ that you can be any of these things. 
You coming here and being the way you are tells me you have 
no one to say this to you, because I know how it feels to have 
someone. I never knew my father because he died when I was 
young, but his brother taught me secrets which fathers are 
supposed to tell. He was the first to let me know that I was 
very important and because he let me know this I loved him 
very much. But he died and when he died I died too, because he 
was the one who gave me the gift of life. But someone else was 
there to become the one who gives me what I need and his gift 
has been even greater than that of my uncle. For he didn’t even 


know me, not at all, and he still was willing to become my 
person. He said ‘the loss of one means the finding of another’ 
and him giving himself to me without knowing me hardly at all 
has changed my life and gives it its meaning. I hope you all can 
find a person like him because it makes such a difference. And I 
love him for it, yes Nat I love you.” 

Nat sat wishing he were someone else. In total embarrassment 
he left swiftly and quietly, his boots ringing in the now quiet 
basement. When I looked at Kenny, his eyes were half-closed 
and he was smiling. But the tear-light was no longer in his eyes: 
it was there upon his face. As the others began to leave I went 
to where he was sitting and told him that I thought what he 
said was beautiful and then left, for I could tell that he needed 
to be alone. 

The next morning broke early, for the sun came out before 
the crews had finished breakfast. The sun hadn’t come out since 
the flood and its warmth and light seemed a good ending for the 
week’s work. I walked down William St. to the breakfast tent 
and seeing Nat sitting alone, took my bowl over to his table. 

—‘‘Jesus Christ, could you believe last night? That little dumb 
ass in front of all those people made us sound like a couple of 
queers or something and then even told everyone who he was 
talking about. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my whole life.” 

—“Where’s Kenny this morning?” I asked, wanting to know. 

—“Hell, half way to Ohio I bet. He left right after I yelled at 
him for talking like that.” 

—“you yelled at him?” 

—“hell yes, He acted like we had been old buddies for 
Chrissake and starting talking about how I gave his life worth 
and I stopped him and said hold on Kenny, all I did was one 
night try to stop you from going out of your head and that’s all 
it was and that’s all it was meant to be and anything else you’ve 
made up. All those sweet cards you sent me went straight over 
my head and in the trash. I don’t know what you think I am, 
but what ever it is I’m sure it is much more than I ever want to 
be you or anyone. After that he just sort of said he was sorry 
and left, but I could tell he was crying. A little while later I saw 
his car pull out down 17.” 

Not wanting to talk to Nat anymore, wanting only to get 
away from the tent and the town I got up to leave. 


—“Hey, where you going?” 

—“Back to the farm.” 

—“Well, hey I’ll write you sometime, okay? 

—“Yea, okay” I said as I walked away from him. 

The Turnpike ends at Charleston. There I get on Route 21 
which takes me to Interstate 77 and then into Ohio. In Ohio I 
take 77 to the fourth exist where I go east 8 miles until I come 
to Olive Green where I turn left on Craked Mary Drive. Kenny’s 
is the only house on the street. I know this not like I know the 
Turnpike because I’ve never gone into Ohio before. This was all 
in the letter which came last week asking me to come and see 
Kenny. It had been five months since the flood and his had 
been the only letter I had received and the only one which I 
had hoped for. The directions were outlined on the back of the 
envelope, cryptics in minute detail with a small map of Olive 
Green in the corner. Kenny had drawn a picture of himself on 
the porch of his house, smiling and waving with x’s for his eyes. 
Above the picture were the words “the loss of one means the 
finding of another.” 




Page 1 - The Duke Preschool Presents - 
Page 9 - Messages from our Sponsors - 
Page 16 — Variations on a theme - 

Notes on Contributors 

ALICE AM MERMAN is a freshman from Potomac, Maryland, and a student 
of aqueous solutions. 

ANONYMOUS is unknown to many but was (and is, alas, no longer) the 
friendly Genius of the ARCHIVE office. 

ANNIE APPLEGATE is a sophomore studio art major from Pennsylvania. 


MARTHA BARNHOLDT is a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C. 

NANETTE BISHOPRIC is a senior piano major from Sarasota, Florida. 

BRUCE BROWER learned three guitar chords, sold a million records, bought 
a '57 Chevy and now pumps gas in Kansas City. 

DENNIS COATES is a graduate student in English now living in Durham. 

RICHARD CURREY is a man trying to become a poet, from Maryland. 

dan is one who studied under Captain Phogg-Balloon Meister. 

D. DARLING is a light flash grinder in a munchie ball factory. 

MARY DENNY is a senior zoology major from Chapel Hill and an ardent 
Evolutionist, soccer enthusiast and CHRONICLE sports editor. 

MIKE ELLSWORTH is a senior from Longmeadow, Massachusetts. 

JADE HALLOWELL works in the Duke Library and has a 4 year old son 
named Dylan. 

WINNIE HINSON, formerly a doodler, is now a vegetarian. 

CRALE D. HOPKINS is a frustrated trout fisherman and soon to be (very 
likely) an unemployed English professor. 

TOM HOUSE doesn't have a phone. 

GOLI I RANI is an English grad student from Iran who paints and poets. 

ALAN W. JENKS is Dean of Freshman in Trinity College. 

JEFFREY D. JOHNSTON is a Duke graduate from Statesville, North 

NICKY KITCHEN is 6 years old and a philosopher. 

DONNA LANDRY is in search of the Algonquin Hotel. 

PAT McNELLIS is a Nashvillian. 

PEG MELVILLE is a Zoology major with an interest in whales. 


MATT MILLER is a 6 year old existentialist. 

EVELYN PARENT is a Durham resident. 

JOAN PAVLOVICH is a 1972 graduate of Duke from Pennsylvania. 

NICK PEARSON is a senior fellow of the Wilsonian Institute. 

THOM PRICE is a son of Flipper and swims in the Gulf Stream. 

NINA RADAKOVICH is a junior from St. Petersburg, Florida. 

MARILYN ROAF is an unemployed artist and a Duke graduate. 

ERIN ROBERTS, 5 years old, is an artistic prodigy from the Duke preschool. 

HERMAN SALINGER, a highly regarded poet and translator, is professor of 
German and comparative literature at Duke. 

MAY SIGMAN is concerned with linguistic barriers to interpersonal 
communication, and is seven. 

MARK SMITH is a senior in Civil Engineering and sometime managing editor 

of the DukEngineer. 

PETER STRIMER is a freshman with a fanaticism for flags. 

JEFF TALMADGE writes his own songs, plays at the Ark, and is called Tex 
'cause he's from a small West Texas town. 

ELLEN THOMPSON is a junior from Texas who loves plains and trees and 


KITTIE WHITE has an itinerant identity. 

DONALD YATES is someone about whom nothing can be said that doesn't 
go without saying. 


College literary and art magazines have a way of stagnating 
over the years. Enthusiastic origins often become tainted in 
time with apathy and neglect and staff members come to 
regard their publications solely as a media for friends, freaks, 
or whomever can gather the energy to make the three-storey 
climb to deliver their material. 

This year, while sitting in our little tower, wondering how 
we could extend our boundaries, a staff member exclaimed, 
“A six year-old could write better than this!” Light bulbs 
flashed in a dozen skulls at once, people danced merrily 
about the third floor, and the champagne flowed in rivers. A 
question had been raised which deserved investigation: could 
a six year-old write (or draw) with as much imagination as a 
Duke undergraduate? 

To resolve our debate we betook ourselves to a little 
known part of the Duke demesne, the Duke Preschool, a 
private institution located on East Campus, formerly run by 
the psychology department, which now consists of children 
from three to seven years of age. Th.ere, aided by a patient 
and courteous faculty, we ivaded through piles of stories and 
pictures, a few of which are herein offered to our readers. 
Our only regret in presenting this section is that a striking art 
piece by Sylvia Darling (age 1) would not reproduce in black 
and white. Aside from this, we would like to give our special 
thanks to Lee Kern and Linda Wilson, and our hope that you 
enjoy the following works. 


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dnd we would n 0 t underhand 


AUl*j 5igmon 

Aje 7 

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Thousands of hardcovers, 
quality paperbacks, 
and foreign magazines. 



Chapel Hill’s New Bookstore 

143 West Franklin Street 
University Square 

open every day 


The Blue 
and White 

A great variety of 
foods for every 




Special meals 

The Oak 

Waitress service 
A la Carte Menu 
Many other fine foods 



Inn serve you 
at all times 


Duke University Dining Halls 

absolutely no place anywhere near this place that is anything 


The Best Place to Meet, Eat and Relax . . . 

Serving complete meals continuously all day. We are known for the best 
fried chicken, rare roast beef and apple pie in town. And we have carry-out 

items galore from our DELICATESSEN 

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Bagel & Cream Cheese Turkey 

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Rye, Pumpernickel, French Bread & Water Bagels 

Pizza Pies Available after 5 p.m. 




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Imported Cheeses 
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9 A.M. -11:45 P.M. Daily - 7 Days Weekly 

1004 West Main Street — Phone 688-6041 

Free parking around Building and on Brunson’s lot after 5 p.m. daily and all day Sunday 


The Forty-first Season 

Branson Theatre 
Second Semester 

DEATHWATCH by Jean Genet — February 9, 10, 11 Branson 
Theatre — A Studio Theatre Production 
THE INTELLECTUAL LADIES by Moliere — February 22, 23, 
24, 25 and March 2, 3, 4 

Two original plays by Duke playwrights — April 6, 7, 8 Branson 
Theatre — A Studio Theatre Production 
TOAD OF TOAD HALL by Richard Sewell — on tour in March 
LITTLE MURDERS by Jules Feiffer — April 19, 20, 21, 22 and 
26, 27, 28 







P.O. 9143 D.S. 






Duke University Stores 

• Duke University Store 

• East Campus Store 

• Duke University Bookstore 

• Duke University Vending Service 

VICKERS... Triangle’s 

Largest Stereo Center 

Where service and satisfaction 

ior i t y 


We sound better 


i 506^as^Main S£ ;j Durhani 


Spring Semester, 1973 
Saturdays and Sundays 
Page Auditorium 

• Mar. 3, 4 
7:00 p.m. 

• Mar. 10, 11 

7 and 9:30 p.m. 

• Mar. 25 

7 and 9:00 p.m. 

. Mar. 31, Apr. 1 
7 and 9:00 p.m. 
Apr. 7, 8 
7 and 9:15 p.m. 

• Apr. 15 
7:00 p.m. 

• Apr. 21, 22 

7:10 and 9:00 p.m. 

• Apr. 28, 29 

7 and 9:00 p.m. 

• Mon., Apr. 30 
7:10 and 9:00 p.m. 

• Tues., May 1 

7 and 9:15 p.m. 

• Wed., May 2 

7 and 9:15 p.m. 

• Thurs., May 3 

7 and 9:00 p.m. 

• Fri., May 4 

7 and 9:00 p.m. 

• May 5, 6 

7 and 9:15 p.m. 

James Bond Double 
Feature: "YOU ONLY 
"2001: A SPACE 




(One showing) 




The area’s 

Chapel Hill, N.C 

Raleigh, N.C. 


The Duke 





Major Attractions 

Major Speakers 
Performing Arts 

Joe College 


Freewater Films 

Graphic Arts 



TLstablishtd 1885 

V - NC f 

Manufacturing Printers 






Jason Havaran was chipping off the cracked paint on the 
hood of the old truck with his fingernail. The warm motor 
beneath ticked down slowly, shaking off the afternoon drive. 
The truck bed held various pieces of farming apparatus, the 
plow, shovels and hoes were bent and rusted from overuse. 
Jason picked the red specks from his skin when he spoke to 

"Bert's not going to take my stuff, said he can get new 
machinery — and better so, if he buys the place." 

"And so?" Martha squinted her eyes almost shut in the sun. 

"Hell," he curved his back and leaned against the hot metal, 

Jason Havaran and Martha had twenty acres of wheat crop 
and some land beneath — or rather they were Jason's and 
Martha was having them with him. They weren't married 
exactly. When he got the farm three years before he'd had 
trouble getting the wheat in and making the rain come and 
feeding himself simultaneously. Martha served him beer at night, 
at that time, in town. She was a big girl with hard arms and 
wanted to plant wheat. Jason said it would be good if she found 
a place, and every night he slammed the old Dodge pickup's 
door on his two beers and thought as he drove home about 
asking her to come up to his place to work. Finally he got 
hungry enough and tired enough of her talking about wanting 
things to tell her to come. So they had the land together but 
the wheat belonged to Jason, whenever he talked he referred to 
"his wheat." And now he was selling the place, he figured that 
if one owns too much for too long that one stops seeing its 
worth and the less one has the easier it is to keep order with it. 

"I'm putting all the stuff back in the barn, Bert can have it, 
or get rid of it. He's probably right, won't be worth shit to him 
when he adds these twenty acres onto his place." He started the 
motor and Martha turned away from the dust as he drove off. 


Jason moved the tools into the barn and closed the door 
behind him. It was cool inside and smelled old, basic. His skin 
prickled in the cool as it did when he walked through the 
wheat at night — it was the same brushing sort of cool. He was 
glad to be leaving before time to cut the wheat, he hated the 
empty field with nothing to hold the night. If he could have the 
wheat all the time, and only the wheat, he would stay on, but 
as it was there were too many things to keep order to. He 
walked away from the cool, back toward the house, he would 
eat dinner with Martha soon. Always, in late evening before 
dinner, Martha would shine apples and lay them on a flat plate 
at Jason's chair. And sometimes, when she thought a day a 
special occasion she would rearrange the kitchen or add 
something that stood out in an obvious special occasion sort of 
manner. Martha's interferences with his birthdays always 
embarrassed Jason. He was obligated then to make her efforts 
noticed so he would call her a "good woman" before proceeding 
with dinner. But Jason was always embarrassed when these 
things happened. He moved slowly across the yard to dinner. 

"Leaving tomorrow for sure?" Martha knew he was coming 
before he reached the porch, she could hear him part the air as 
he walked, after all she had lived with him for three years. 

"Hope so, I've fooled around too long this week, now I'm 
just piling up time." 

"How far' we going to try to make it?" 

Jason didn't answer, he had thought about going for some 
while, but it was a burden to plan, too much to settle. 

"Did you get maps today from Bert?" 


"We haven't talked about getting any place in particular, 
Jason, I've been turning it all over in my mind, it's going to be 
good to leave the wheat farm." 

Martha was talking thick and filling up the room with 

"I don't know, Martha, I don't know." 


Martha was a tall strong woman. She had lived in Kansas all 
her life, worked the bar for the major part of it. Men came 
every night and talked about the wheat, trade and how the days 
got shorter at harvest and there wasn't ever enough time to put 
into the fields. Martha served them beer, added words to the 
conversations, added hours to the evening and added a different 
woman's face to the day. Martha always added things, she never 
gave things. When Jason came she had added a need for him, 
but could not fill it up, and after three years she was still 
adding, made for too much to keep in order. 

Jason liked to watch the warm of the red in Martha's skirt, 
and once or more he thought it would be pleasant to lie with 
Martha and that warmth, but thought better of the matter 
because he was afraid it would make Martha sad. Then again, 
Martha was sad anyway, Jason thought himself to be a 
saddening person with whom to live. He hoped that Martha 
would stop wanting things when she came to his house, that she 
would get fidgity, as he had many times in the past, and decide 
just what to do with herself. But three years now were settling 
in and Martha would say she thought the two of them were 
getting mellow and Jason replaced the description with stagnant, 
in his mind, for he never wanted to hurt Martha. So he hadn't. 

But Jason Havaran knew that Martha still was wanting 
because at night she sometimes stood at his door and watched 
him sleep. And he would hold his body still and quiet when he 
knew that she was there for fear that it would call out to her. 
Martha could never be what Jason needed...and he wished 
Martha to know that he was not what she wanted. When Martha 
returned to her room Jason would go to the field. The wheat 
held his body and he was secure in his loneness. 

It got dark. Jason left the dinner table and carried Martha's 
new dishes to the sink. 

"Going to Bert's again for a chaw and a talk to settle things, 
Martha, won't be late." 


"That's good, I'm packing everything while you're gone then. 
Don't be long, we'll have to sleep some tonight, both of us, so 
we can leave early." 

"No, Martha. I mean, don't pack until I come, after all, there 
are still things to settle." 

He left Martha with her new dishes in the room with the 
thick conversation. He wasn't going to Bert's, there was nothing 
left in the transaction, the place was sold. He had to lie to 
Martha because he could only move one foot at a time when he 
took a step and this was the only way to move forward, he had 
let himself go backwards for some while. Jason headed for the 
wheat field. Night wind pushed into the grain and formed a 
slanting wall against the black. It held the cool for him and his 
skin prickled as he slipped in up to his waist. The dark changed 
all the gold and his body to a deep neutral color. 

He saw the pickup truck by the house, it wasn't going to go 
very far, but that was fine. He didn't need to change places, 
actually, just reduce what filled up this one. Only that couldn't 
be done. Martha moved back and forth in front of the lighted 
window of the house. Jason could feel the pictures in Martha's 
head of going "someplace" with him in the morning. Jason 
ached under his decision. He could teach her a great deal, a 
great deal, if he were to leave her here. He could teach her the 
value of not having too much, and being able to see the worth 
of a little. He would leave Martha with his wheat field and 
everything would be in order. 


After you left I got up, brushed your taste 
from my mouth, washed your smell from my 
neck and arms, and went back to my room. I 
straightened the sheets, fluffed up the pillows 
where your head had lain (some of your hair 
was still there) and climbed into a bed that 
was suddenly the size of a Monday morning 
football field. 


Michael’s Room 

Michael felt his room to be quite satisfactory. There were 
earthy russet tones in the patterned carpet, the corduroy 
bedspread, the sketches and wall-hangings. There were plenty of 
books and a feeling of music—classical, of course. He knew she 
would like the room, love the room, dance in the room and 
bless it with a sardonic smile. Yes, Elizabeth in the room in a 
black dress, with long white hands...a sort of Parisian look about 
her. She would laugh quietly and talk trivia for a maddeningly 
long time. And, yes, he would reach out and touch her dress, 
feel a small thrill of pleasure at the touch of warm, black wool. 

He crumpled down on the bed beneath “The Tree of 
Knowledge,” pressing his face into familiar russet corduroy. His 
fingers clenched and throbbed; he wanted her. He could almost 
sense her presence, could remember the strength of her perfume. 
He saw her at the Damnation of Faust concert, small-talking her 
way through two professors, gesturing with his opera glasses. He 
heard her stage voice from the Children’s Play shrill happily over 
an audience; he saw her rouged lips and ridiculously painted 
eyes. He felt her cold hand press his on a wintry day when she 
said there was someone else she had to try, thank you, and 
pursed her lips in Proper fashion, only to have her belt come 
undone, a mockery of enticement. 

Raising his head from the rumpled bed, Michael fixed his 
eyes with difficulty on his father’s photograph—sensitive, boyish 
with wavy hair. Father on his third wife, a New York 
apartment, city exotica. And Michael’s English notebook had 
Pro Erotica written on it...a futile gesture. Michael’s mother was 
a birdy librarian. Small talk and bright glances. Did he really 
look as much like her as everyone said, would he be a librarian, 
too; would no one respect his masculinity? Elizabeth, 
Elizabeth—how could he make her understand? 


He rolled off the bed. Perhaps it was useless. The irony of it 
all was that he had not loved her, once, when she adored him. 
She had suffered, she said; she did not need to justify her empty 
feelings for him now. 

Beating his head against a wall seemed the appropriate thing 
to do, reminiscent somehow of Dustin Hoffman, similarly 
thwarted. But Michael resisted the sudden impulse long enough 
to feel a prick of conscience.—Michael, the stuffy one, never 
free, never spontaneous—Michael promptly struck his head 
against the wall several times and sat down again. 

Elizabeth had given him part of some silly psychological test 
once, naturally the part supposedly indicating sexual desire and 
inhibitions. Something about walking in a field and finding a 
stream—what did it look like, what did he do, and so on. He 
had said he would sit down and put his hand in the water, 
checking for fish, algae, rocks. He would consider wading except 
that there were far too many tragic stories of snake bite 
associated with wading in strange creeks. Elizabeth had 
laughed—hysterically. It was typical, she said, and just as she 
expected from him. She—of course, would have taken off her 
shoes, rolled up her jeans, and gone in—she had no recourse. Of 
course, she said, he was seriously inhibited and she was not. 

Michael rubbed the back of his neck with both hands, hard. 
His head was thumping strangely. He removed his contacts and 
rubbed his eyes. Elizabeth. He almost hated her. Involuntarily, 
his eyes jerked to the poster of Eleanora Duse on his old oak 
door. (Hadn’t he sent Elizabeth a post card from New York like 
it?) Duse with her heavy-lidded Italian eyes. And Elizabeth with 

He went quickly to the piano and ran his hands over the 
keys. Play his heart out. Lonely, mellow piano notes drifting 
from an open window at dusk....He played faster and harder. He 
was pounding crescendos. His forehead began to sweat. 

He thought briefly of Hedda Gabler. Who had “played a wild 
dance on the piano...and shot herself in the head.” He tired of 
Beethoven and began to improvise. There were no guns in the 



gummed impression 

my mudfeet mind 
stuck pulling 



off my face 



but too impatient 
fingers fumbling 

my gummed 
face away 

thoughts tacky 

as the strands 
of bazooka 


to roll them back 
to chew 

to restore wisdom 
tooth imprints 

but no chewing 

those impressions 
that a saliva 
acid washes 
and distorts 


my mind 
the inflated 
bubble flat 
on my face 



thoughts pass in 
and out 
of mind 
much as 

sunned body shadows 

as a shadow 
takes shape 
through concentration 
of energy light 
so do thoughts 
with the concentration 
of mind 

the sun's brilliance 
gives source 
to clearly cast umbras 
defining dark 
in its own light 
the source 
imaging new ideas 
among all that it knows 
clearly is the mind 

but not always so 
shadows lose their real edge 
twixt dark and light 
thoughts become lost 
tween now and then 
sun and mind 
behind a fog 
or a higher cloud 
blur and fade 
would-be shadows 
would-be thoughts 
frustrating the shadowmaker 





for children only 




Ye Goode Days Shoppe 
with candy sweets 
apple tarts and licorice sticks 
crinkly noses stuck in windows, 
whisked away by matrons 
in white and blue; 

(men with polished canes and hats would ere approve) 
swinging flourishes of coin 
sometimes dropping 

into the cobble-stoned 
darkened village streets 

five-and-twenty varieties of 

all made from one brand of flour, 
candy sour, 

and an ice-cream soda parlour 
all have their places 
in the 

now stirring streets. 



Carolina Rain 

Carolina rain 

Remind me of all those things 
I’ve always known 
and never known. 

And months 
or years 
From now, 

I’ll remember 

waiting for dawn 

with someone beside me~ 
The Carolina rain 


t pic um 

The beggars are coming to town, 
selling pencils and computers, 
in short hair and long hair 
and some in a silken gown. 

The Habsburgs lie in the Capucin crypt 
beautifully organized in death, all 
Habsburg-clad and Habsburg-lipped 
in their stately, lighted Escorial. 

The beggars are quite disorganized 
but they organize and sell munitions, 
sell themselves, sell each other 
and trade on various human conditions. 

The origin of species means war. War! 

The Gods of Greece hide in the Isles of Greece. 
In Babel and Pisa towers lean as before. 

The Habsburgers sleep their Catholic sleep. 



Home, Sweet Home 


Sunday at the Ritz 

God how I hate dishing out prunes. But this must be done first, 
before mixing up the powdered milk, before putting hot water on 
each table, before making the toast for the little red-faced man 
who shakes so badly he looks like he is about to erupt, even before 
kissing my favorite little old man good morning, who says, “You 
know I’m too old to do you any harm.” He cries if I don’t kiss 
him before his daily exercise of pushing a shopping cart around 
the adjacent Webb’s City parking lot. Before all this, prunes must 
be dished out. 

Because today is Sunday, and Sunday mornings Miss Emily 
always has her prunes a half-hour early in order to have ample 
time to go back upstairs, move her bowels (this last word always 
mouthed in her explanations), and return to the lobby in time to 
be picked up for church. Otherwise, she would have to leave in the 
middle of the service to move her bowels (again, this last word 
mouthed), and you know how awful that would be. So here go the 

The Ritz Hotel is a residential, “economical” hotel for the 
elderly (aged?). For a monthly cost, residents (called “guests” by 
the management) have a room, three monotonous meals a day, 
and no personal attention whatsoever. Outside on the street you 
can here policemen and others refer to the Ritz as a crazy house. 

True to the image, the cook is in his usual perverse humor, 
which I ignore, as usual. He has long dark hair greased straight 
back and a New York accent you could cut with one of his meat 
knives. He keeps a supply of Genessee beer in the walk-in 
refrigerator. One day, in one of her better moods Miss Emily saw 
him laughing and started to giggle herself. “Men are just grown up 
little baby boys — once you know how to handle them, they’re 
just like a sponge.” 


Miss Emily is a shrunken little woman, bent over to one side 
because of a spine disorder. She has never married and is glad of it, 
but wishes she still lived in New York, where you can still get a 
decent pair of shoes for your money. After meals are served, she 
usually doesn’t have much to say unless you have foolishly put 
something on her plate that contains vinegar, cheese, tomato, 
chocolate, gravy, or oatmeal. She loves Cream of Wheat and 
broccoli, also sometimes mushroom soup. 

After breakfast, the overhead fans are turned off, since the 
guests are not in the dining room. The employees sweat profusely 
because St. Petersburg, Florida, is rather hot in the summer, even 
at nine a.m. There is not air-conditioning—it would be too 
expensive. Some guests do have air-conditioners, but they pay an 
extra fee each month for this luxury. 

Lunch is livelier than usual; Billie Duncan is in top form. Twice 
a day she re-enacts the civil war with Mr. Seagram, “one-a-them 
dam’ yankees!” Her eyes are more caved in than most, and she 
walks slowly with two canes instead of one. Her philosophy 
consists of the idea that “four-legged animals have a lot more sense 
than two-legged ones.” 

One day she came to dinner carrying an innocuous brown paper 
bag and wearing the bizarre grin of the half-senile. 

“I brought some family pictures to show ya.” Out of the bag 
came a photograph, mounted and framed. 

“This is my daughter and son-in-law, Buster and Peggy.” The 
picture showed the portraits of a bulldog wearing a top hat and a 
suit and a white collie wearing a hat, veil, and shawl, with the most 
serious of expressions, in black and white. I and the ladies around 
us marveled at the beauty of the couple. Then, Billie pulled out 
another picture saying, “And this is their daughter Patsy, when she 
was teachin’ school.” It is another white collie, wearing black 
glasses, sitting at a desk with a book open in front of her. 

One morning during my break I was up in Billies’ room 
watching the Beverly Hillbillies with her (her color television is her 
most prized possession). She was chainsmoking and we were 
drinking Coke — she loves me to visit her. I noticed several boxes 
placed around the room against the walls, and one large trunk. Out 


of curiosity, I asked her what was in them. She looked at me in 
her conspiratorial way and said, “Dogs.” Throughout her life, one 
of her hobbies has been collecting them, in all sizes, made out of 
all sorts of things. She even has one made from a folded washcloth 
with sequins sewed on for eyes. We laughed for a while about how 
funny it would be for her to put them out, all over the floor, on 
the day that the maid comes. She said, “Maybe I will.” 

We gossip about the guests a lot during these visits. It is from 
her that I learned Charlie Newman’s secret. Tips are not too much 
at the Ritz, maybe five dollars a week. Most of the guests that tip 
at all try to give us (two waitresses and one maid) a dollar every 
two weeks. One day the maid was cleaning Charlie’s room and he 
handed her five dollars. Because he is well-off compared to most 
of the guests, she thought nothing of it. When he put his hand on 
her hip, she slapped him and handed the five back. Without 
blinking his squinty little eyes, he offered her a ten. 

Dinner is hectic. Because it is Sunday we serve soup and 
sandwiches at four thirty. (The big meal was at noon. A minister 
came from a local church and said grace, but no one listened, as 
usual.) Mr. Israel Jacobs, who has had a stroke recently, is very 
upset. “Who ever HEARD of serving the soup before the 
sandwich! The sandwich ALWAYS comes before the soup! What 
kind of place IS this? I don’t even WANT a sandwich anymore! 
Just forget it!” 

But he is not nearly as mad as the time someone gave him a 
sandwich with ham in it. 

“You KNOW I don’t eat ham!” He sure likes bacon, though. 
Sometimes he is completely serene, and says only, “Hello, 

Mrs. Branly, a grossly obese woman who wears a 
white-powdered wig and has breath that smells like dead animals, 
is beckoning me to come to her table. She always wants seconds, 
as she says, “I have nothing else to do late at night all alone, so I 
just eat myself to death. It entertains me.” This time, though, she 
doesn’t want seconds. She presses a small moist package into my 
hand and smiles, “I saved this for you from Bingo last night.” It 
is a doughnut wrapped in a napkin. Twice a week she does this. 
Bingo and food are her obsessions. Some of the others are 
obsessed with alcohol, detective magazines, or pills. Except for 
“Buttons” Miller, who owns a fantastic button collection, no one 
has any real hobbies, unless sitting could be called one. There is 
only apathy and eccentricity in this place that so remarkably 
resembles an asylum. One must eat at the prescribed times, and 
suffer. Billy Duncan says that the next thing we know, we’ll all be 
walking on the ceiling. 



15 january 1973 

701 Benton St., Apt. 4 

Hillsborough, N. C. 27278 

Box 4666 D.S. 

Durham, N. C. 

Dear Archivists, 

“Horror Flicks” on p. 4 of the most recent number of the 
Archive is falsely attributed to me. It is important for me to say 
that I did NOT write this poem, so I have said it twice. I like to 
see my name in print but not next to somebody else’s poem. 
Please give the poem to the right writer in your next issue. 

Unerringly yours, 

Donald Neal Yates 

Editor's Note: Will the right writer please step forward? The 
erring Archive desires to mend its ways. 

The Archive apologizes to Goli Irani for misprinting her name 
throughout our last issue. 

the waiting room 

belly-dancing walls enclose me. 
the curtain-covered walls undulate 
slightly, the Venetian blinds flutter, 
in the first hours of the opium 
dream, we trace lines that will not 
be still, as imperceptible as the 
final second of a vibrating rubber 

the candlelight dies on the 
curtains, muted, pastel-pagan shadows 
flatten themselves against the wall, 
a man-of-war dances under domed 
chimes and tinkles to the heater’s 
ticklish blasts. 

lime, unhemmed curtains wrinkle 
below cedar rods and jerk at probing 
fingers through the broken panes, 
the draw cords dangle, i sit in 
corduroy, i sit in linen. 

hannah, i come to you with a 
secret, i can not recall the woman’s 
face, i can not hear her voice, i 
know her scent, no longer, she has 
left me with the winter, and the 
winters are getting colder, but we 
can not let the fortune of the season 
dictate our actions, freedom is the 
answer to our riddle. 

i have dreams, i explain to her. 
let me tell you. eyes are as black 
as shadows, smeared like blue memories, 
cut sharp that pencils line, and i 
erased those eyes, and i could not 

and lips are as pink and as swollen 
as a bite, moist with sweat, and i 
dried them with a towel, and i could 
not speak to her. and i knew she did 
not love me. 


i peeled away the face as if it 
were painted rubber cement, and the 
perfumes i washed down the drains, 
and the clothes i burned, and the 
tiny feet i crushed. 

but, i knew so little of the lady, 
i sit before the brand actress as 
passive as a child, she parts and 
combs my hair, and i would not 
dare offend her. 

the dream has lasted forever, 
familiar in its sameness, i know 
it as i know my coat, the feeling 
is a comfort that i would not long 
avoid, this state of mind, deserted 
in pre-history, returns as true as a habit. 


music peels off the unending 
phonograph, and waxen ribbons curl 
upward, they are absorbed into the 
smoke, which coats the walls. 

the singer proceeds as if prodded, 
her voice cackles, i can feel the 
needle grating through the grooves, 
the noise is so acute, i can distin¬ 
guish the sides of the needle. 

hannah, i ask you. what is love? 
and what is hate? 

we match coins, but they are 
the same coin. love. hate, cobwebs, 
water spreading to saturate our 
lowest levels. 

we are always living, but we 
are always dying, we both understand 

but our decisions do not matter, 
our judgement is invalid, we sit 
here nodding, as spineless as rag 
dolls and discuss the birth of the 
universe, they did not deliver 
their babies, their ayes and nayes 
are not their own. 

we lease away our birthright, 
our society is one of ruffians 
and thieves, our history is a lie. 
the manipulators do not accept our 
charity, we are embarrassing the 
image, they announce to the news¬ 
paper; they can not be imprisoned, 
but, neither shall they know release. 

three . 

the music stops, i can barely 
keep my eyes open, and it barely 
matters if i do. cats cry in other 
rooms, but i can not hear them, 
people live in other rooms, but i 
do not know them. 

this loneliness should not be 
so large as to hold my fears, this 
empty room, this cardboard, this 
closet, this cruel and jealous 

the faulty wiring winks at me. 
it is dark, and the weak man is 
finally betrayed by his indecision. 

peace was never our understanding, 
the purposely, misplaced item, the 
forgotten umbrella, the never- 
spoken admission of loves. 

and i? i believed the promises to 
have different faces, they held 
their hatred in such shallow bowls. 

when the marionettes awake, tell 
them that i am the puppet of the 
mobile, that i float amid these 
doors and walls, and windows. 

that nothing exists here, no 
one could own it.. 


Piar}© Iiu^aipe 

mute under empty windows' 
fingers of stark moonlight, 

I with longing unguarded, stroke 
The piano with the white teeth. 

Awake I lie quietly 
Dreaming of that slender waist 
Of ebony like a black wave, which I stroke 
Mutely, with fingers of moonlight. 

Stilled would be all my longing 
Might I, as if dreaming 
This night, with infinite desire, stroke 
The piano with the white teeth. 



Shulamith Sh.ula.mith Shulamith 
moon veiled with 
the warm land’s exhalations 
the interior dark and close 
smell reminiscent of estate’s moldy greenhouse 
clings to the walls to the air 
to the bodies inhaling 
the encircling pipe 
our sister. 

the sea moans, the sea caresses 
the palm trees ring with 
their own hidden sap-blood 
stars beyond the cloud shadows 
enact blind astral justice 
happening to fall 
on the figures below 
their smoke-filled hair chanting 
to Shulamith. 


The Angels 

They all have satiate faces, their appalled lips 
slip faintly, while their souls are without seams, 
and are on lire, wholly consumed with a desire-to-lapse 
(as if into Sin) that sometimes gets into their dreams. 

They look all but utterly alike; 
in God’s backyard they are all still, silent, 
like pause after pause in his music, 
intervals in his strain of arrangement. 

Only when they unleash their wings like fans, 
do they worry a breeze into being: 

As though God with his chiseler’s hands 

had paged with wide spans 

through the dark Book of Beginning. 


Die Engel 

Sie haben alle muede Muende 
und helle Seelen ohne Saum. 

Und eine Sehnsucht (wie nach Suende) 
geht ihnen manchmal durch den Traum. 

Fast gleichen sie einander alle; 
in Gottes Gaerten schweigen sie, 
wie viele, viele Intervalle 
in seiner Macht und Melodie. 

Nur wenn sie ihre Fluegel breiten, 
sind sie die Wecker eines Winds: 

Als ginge Gott mit seinen weiten 
Bildhauerhaenden durch die Seiten 
im dunklen Buch des Anbeginns. 




And whoever you may be: some night go outside 

out of your room, whose things you already know, 

as it your house was the last outpost before the worldwide: 

whoever you are, too. 

With your eyes, which can scarcely tiredly 
tree themselves from the habitual threshold, 
heave up really slow a black tree 
and put it against the sky: slender, alone, bold. 

And you’ve made the world. And it’s so 

big, and like a word—one that is still getting ripe in silence. 

And as your will comprehends their essence, 

tenderly, they let your eyes go.... 



Wer du auch seist: am Abend tritt hinaus 
aus deiner Stube, drin du alles weisst; 
als letztes vor der Feme liegt dein Fiaus: 

Wer du auch seist. 

Mit deinen Augen, welche muede kaum 
von der verbrauchten Schwelle sich betrein, 
hebst du ganz langsam einen schwarzen Baum 
und stellst ihn vor den Himmel: schlank, allein. 
Und hast die Welt gemacht. Und sie ist gross 
und wie ein Wort, das noch im Schweigen reift. 
Und wie dein Wille ihren Sinn begreift, 
lassen sie deine Augen zaertlich los... 



Autumn Day 

Lord: it is time. The summer was intense. 

Lay thy shadow on the sundials now, 

and let the winds shake loose over the inlands. 

Command the last fruit to be big and fine, 
give them two more southerly days, 
urge fulfillment on them, and chase 
the last sweetness into the heavy wine. 

He will no longer build one, who has no house now. 

Who is alone now, will long remain so, 

will read, write long letters, drowse, 

wake and walk the streets to and fro, 

wandering restlessly, as the wind drives the leaves. 



Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross. 
Leg deinen Schatten auf dieSonnenuhren 
und auf den Fluren lass die Winde los. 

Befiehl den letzten Fruechten voll zu sein; 
gib ihnen noch zwei suedlichere Tage, 
draenge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage 
die letzte Suesse in den schweren Wein. 

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr. 
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben, 
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben 
und wird in den Alleen hin und her 
unruhig wandern, wenn dieBlaetter treibea 



Two Definitions of Pain: 
Evolutions of Waiting 


There were no quartz crystal clouds 
And furthermore 

Your hair didn’t shatter the sunlight 
(At least i never noticed) 

But - Still - 

On beautiful mornings I hide 

( The rays of sun fly down to my spongy soul like darts 
stabbing me with your memory) 

And like some slow burning flower 




2 . 

Before you : After you 
A simple equation (super nova in the snow) 


During you: enduring me 
More a test of my relativity. 

But that means motion 

And, naturally, I’ve gone nowhere 

or — I’m back where I began 
or — I’m only back where I belong 
There is no time. 

Like now. 


-The moebius howl 

like light searing through space — 

I know beginnings and endings so well ... 





Volume 85, Number 3. Spring, 1973 

Box 4665 D. S., Durham, N. C. 27706. 684-2364 

editor anne dantzler assistant editor (& poetry editor) thorn price prose 
editor tom noland assistant prose editor dave chandler art editor weesa 
plyler magazine concept & design editor kathy harward photography 
editor scott flanegin contributions editor gali hagel people editors pat 
mcnellis chris mayfield business manager liz ansley ad salesperson steve 
carter ad layout dave birkhead literary editors poetry diana brenna 
andy hicks donna landry bill marquess debbie mow lynne sturm joe 
ullman tim Westmoreland literary editors prose mike breen donna 
landry barry lee chris mayfield libby sajo tim Westmoreland bruce 
young arts editors leigh ablondi alice ammerman winnie hinson kathy 
white magazine concept & design editors tom coleman winnie hinson 
kathy white blackburn festival coordinators anne dantzler gali hagel 
tom noland advice assistance tea & sympathy william cranford Clyde 
turner kirk ridge jan martell peaches rigsbee james applewhite bill beck 
dave darling jim wise john dewar dave southern dave birkhead john 
rocap bob bernstein greg collins 





31 Anonymous, untitled 

4 Running Bear, untitled 

13 Dalton Biggs, untitled 

21 Bogatin, English 56 

45 Daoud Choro, Odilla 

5 Robert Aubry Davis, // Dream Lover 

8 the different drummer, Juanita 

22 Mike Ellsworth, The Fence Went on Forever 

41 untitled 

30 N. P. Gilliland, Beau and Arrow 

6 Ephemera Vulgaris 

32 Bob Glass, Beware the Common People 

Are Becoming More So 

35 Jeff Holcombe, Consider the Rain 

42 The Lake 

36 Mark Hook, A Web of Circumstances 

24 Donna Landry, Animal Frolic: A Fable Like 

20 R.B. McDonald, X, XVI, XXI, 

from One and Twenty Jokes 

37 John A. Stevenson, Tom and Jim 

7 Jeff Talmadge, Homecoming 

28 Jennie Kathleen White, A Quick View of the 

Dilemma of the Grapefruit 

10 Kittie White, 7 7 

11 V 

12 Vii 

44 Connie Winstead, untitled 


I am, and have always been — 

A part of this land. 

Part of its lust, and part of its squalor. 

Dissolved within its gusty flow, 

And walled within its limits 
And prisoned within its darkness. 

This land is my home. 

And its soft and sensuous pleasure 
And its wild and mad delight 
I have freely grown to love. 

The heavens do not unfold before me. 

Yet I ponder them, 

Wishing some distant kinship. 

And yet I know that I am not as much a part of the divine 
As of this earth. 

I am hopelessly finite 
With finite joys 

Yet strangely infinite ambitions. 

Touched by a fever of hope 
Within my earthly, lusty walls. 



II Bream liauep 

Dream lover: 

there are moments of winterbirds at play in fields 
the full moon ghostly at sun down 
the sunset reflected in Two Moon Pond 
the pond-reflected forest misty with road dust 
anointed with road dust 
There are moments as I pass by 
when I place you beside me 
watching the puffed up bluebirds 

their rosy chests blue and blushed and fluffed with cold 
the perfect winterbird clutching the barbedwire of the fence 
sublimely uncognizant of fences 
Dreams have their own memories 

So as I sleepwalk through the spheres 

I come to clearings where you are beside me 

And memories as vast as forestlines against the sky 

As wintertrees on winterskies 

Souvenirs of full moon sleep 

Call to me of dreamless days 

And winter nights 

From which you were awakening 

To find me there beside you 

Moon Dream Lover. 



Ephemera fulgaris 

Spring ascends: 

Love reigns on Earth- 
It reigns? It pours! 

Lovers in scores 
Flying in tandem, 

Loving at random-- 
We must understand ‘em: 

They’ve not long to live. 

A Mayfly may fly, 

But its joys in joys in joining lie; 
When life comes in such short supply, 
It’s best to know how best to die. 




Gabriel and I would walk near my home 
On the banks of the muddy creek 
Filled with water from the icehouse 
And the late spring rains. 

Summer crept over the valley like sunrise, 
Our skins freckled and our hair grew lighter 
And our illusive walks on Thompson’s Creek 
Became transcendent journeys 
That escaped the blistering heat, 

The heavy air, and the reality that 
School was a few short weeks away. 

The hours we spent there mounted into days, then years, 
And we had no way of knowing 
That one day I would leave. 

My mother tried to explain to my young mind 
Why we had to move away- 
I didn’t understand until some time later 
That the reasons were not altogether good. 

I went back once to Thompson’s Creek 
And hoped to see my friend, 

Eating fresh-picked Mustang grapes, 

With a cane pole in his hand. 

But Gabriel didn’t recognize me. 

The creek was dry, the fish had died. 

And our old house burned down 
The winter we had gone. 




Joaquin Velasques saw the morning come like a giant bird flexing its 
million-colored wings. Heard the muffled sounds of the world come from the 
distance of the night to the nearness of the day. And hearing and seeing, he 
became aware that his eyes were open. That he was staring at the knifeblade of 
inflamed sunlight stabbing through the window. 

There were memories, like cobwebs in his mind. Some faint and almost silent, 
some burning like the touch of hot wax. All drifting by in an interminable 
succession of pain and pleasure. But pain welled like a yawn and flooded his 
brain, and he closed his fists around the blanket of the bed. And wishing for 
sleep he held his teeth together and put his hand on his closed eyes. 

Time passed, and the world around Joaquin unfolded like the flowers that 
belonged only to the morning, that grew in the fields by the sea and gave their 
seeds that one might forget and be happy. 

Time passed. There was breathing in the room. Like a rustle of cloth. Like the 
fall of a leaf. Like the sound of a flower opening. It filled the room with a warm, 
soft sigh, and left it cold and empty, waiting for the next breath. 

There were soft, deep breaths, and Joaquin forced the sounds of the day from 
his mind. The breathing became the center of a universe of memory blended 
with reality. 

The rise and fall of wind on a summer day. And the waves of the sea circling 
like delicate fingers. And the soft sounds of the birds on a summer day in 
Joaquin’s mind. 

And there was breathing. Close, thick, but very deep and quiet. And the rise 
and fall of the wind, and the sliding waves, and the birds burned like a new flame 
in his brain. 


And a word. 

And a name came from the edge of his thoughts and left nothing but the 
name, like a billboard before his closed eyes. 

Juanita. The word rose to his throat. 

Juanita. It crumbled into the air, a whisper. 

Juanita. A cry. 

And Joaquin smiled in the half-light of the morning. 


He turned over, and like a child to a present, reached forward. His fingers 
touched the palm of an upturned hand. The breathing quickened. He opened his 


A church, white like sun bleached bone. Huge black doors that opened on the 
memory of screaming, of a woman’s beautiful face pressed into folds of terror 
and framed with a halo of black hair spread on the whiteness of the bed. A child, 
born and held by the doctor, only to whisper a sandpaper cry and tremble 
slightly, then curl and harden, like the morning approaching and passing the 
noon. The doctor looked at Joaquin—and laid the child gently at the side of its 
mother, then pulled a sheet over the two forms and stepped away from the bed. 
The church. Huge black doors. Open and shut. Two boxes, into the earth. Two 
stones in an ocean of the flowers that belong to the morning, that grew in the 
fields by the sea and gave their seeds that one might forget and be happy. 

Juanita. It came like a question, but was not a question. 

An answer. 

the different drummer 



Listen to the leaf sift to the Earth: 

myth, myth ... 


It lies curled on its brown side 
like a dead bird. 

But not stillborn. 

so (w), 

the ground, not the sky, 
catches my attention these days, 
tiled in colored parchments 
to be reshuffled daily, 
providing the unwritten forecasts; 
testaments to my infertility. 

And i am left behind, 
sluffing only words 
like dead tissue. 


The wind drools, 

and with the wicked flick of her lizzardly tongue, 
peels the leaves from the dirt 
to nip'round my feet like rabid puppies. 

Such cruel pretense 
to reveal the fruit! 

And i drool, too, 
my only weapon: 

playing the lance. 

As you can see, 
the leaves will flinch 
beneath their every blow! 



the wane tears such succulent sections 
from the moon's ripeness, 
dripping her musical juice, 

that you and she connived, 

your hair to be 

her winking eye, 

as she chimes yours 

in a toast to the death of Reason. 

And in the pomegranate's garnet 
she has promised me a caryatid: 
people in my life 
only as there are stars in her sky: 
to fight the darkness, each. 

The seasons trade their constellations, 
but if feeling, the clear pearl, 
be the water. 

Then water is the child of light. 

I heard you once, 

scattering your laugh before you, 

like petals from a wedding basket. 




From calf 
to hips 
to breast 
her eyes, 

like a standing appointment, 
await their turn. 

They churn 

a sun-slapping pool 
on which there skips an angry rock 
thrown by a lover 
at the edge. 

Now reeling 'round 
to ask why 

she-like overworked muscle 
responds involuntary, 
with a 
twitch spits 

out her memeo-plea(se) 


the stenciled sounds 
slip through the screen 
of his slick ears uncupped, 
fade, like the impressions 
made by her clothes 
upon his skin, 

while she becomes the fossil 
of his man-hood, 
no cameo. 

How he does relieve her! 

And the look-back current carves 

its reaching hand 

a wave's coughed 

on the silent sand, 

the falling froth, 

giggling children, 

chasing glee 


A rabbit's subtle pads 
will pack each flake of snow 
till ice, 

the last to melt. 




If Stephan had seen him the next day it wouldn’t have mattered much. 
Nothing had happened, nothing to avert eyes and mutter about, if necessary, 
nothing at all. 

Andrew pulled his shoelace taut and flicked through a quick bow. In the 
mirror he smiled with teeth bared for inspection, brushed his hair and smiled 
again. As he left the room he whistled. 

The coffee he had poured was not cooled as it should have been by then; it 
was cold. He gulped it anyway, choking a little once, and left the room. 

Outside it was spring weather. The morning wind was light enough to walk 
into without turning and the air was warm. He walked evenly and wanted to 
slow down a little, but the papers on the desk were not going to move until he 
moved then and they all had to be moved by the afternoon; he quickened and 
arrived and settled to work with occasional cups of coffee and a lunch at one. 
The papers moved quickly all day and he looked up at the clock only a few 
minutes. And Andrew passed such a day at work and for the work day that was 
all. After it was over he turned off the light and closed the door, the glass 
rattling as he did, and began to walk back. He walked slowly and watched some 
of the faces he passed. Most were set and stared at the end of the block. Some 
were distracted and looked from side to side. A woman with red hair had slept 
late and hurried on her makeup and Andrew smiled at her crooked lips. An old 
man in a gray hat smiled back and felt known and friendly and perhaps some 
young men still knew respect. (In celebration, the man walked down the street 
and bought a beer). 

Andrew’s name came from the crowd and suddenly Stephan was with him 
and Andrew was no longer watching. He saw shoelaces and sidewalk cracks and 
Stephan’s boots. They began to talk. 



Once a child was born alone. When he opened his eyes he was in a small, dark 
room and when he cried, no one answered. But a thin tube lowered from the top 
of the room and in it there was food. But the room was empty and he was alone. 

One day when he woke there was a white square on the wall. When he sat up, 
the screen changed to blue and there were two high-pitched sounds. The child 
stared and then began to cry. The square darkened and the tube lowered to him. 

Stephan and Andrew ordered and the waitress took their menus and left. 
They talked about politics and about the weekend football games and about a 
movie Stephan had seen. Then they drank the wine the waitress had brought and 
were quiet, waiting for the meal. The room was filled with soft talking and clinks 
of silver on plates or glasses together. It was warm and slow and the wine eased it 

When she brought the food they talked again and discussed the coming 
evening: Stephan was playing cards, Andrew was planning nothing and was soon 
coaxed into playing. The future settled, they ate and drank more easily and 
talked over dinner. 

They payed and left, Andrew without his coat which they went back for, and 
walked to Stephan’s room. Inside they drank and records played and Stephan 
looked for his car keys. Then they left the room and went to play. The game was 
even; no one seemed very skillful or very lucky, but Jim’s wife cooked and the 
food was good. After their wine and drinks and beer, Stephan and Andrew were 
happy no matter who won. 

Soon the child forgot the square and slept. But when he woke and cried for 
food there were three high notes as the tube lowered. He was puzzled and 
ignored the tube for a while, looking for the sounds he had never heard before. 
The only sounds he had known were his - crying and breathing and eating. The 
new noise confused him; but soon he forgot and ate as usual. 

But each time he cried, the tube lowered with these same three notes and the 
child soon grew used to them and ate without noticing. 

Then one day he cried and the tube didn’t move. He cried louder, but nothing 
happened. He screamed until he couldn’t cry any more, but there was no food. 
He crawled to the wall and pounded, he kicked his feet, he stopped breathing, 
but nothing he did affected the tube at all. Until he did something which he 
didn’t understand, something he couldn’t explain to himself later. He sang the 
tube’s three notes, the sounds he remembered with food, and the tube lowered, 
echoing the notes. And he ate greedily because he was tired and hungry. 


Andrew drove home; Stephan was afraid to because he had drunk a good deal 
more than Andrew and hadn't been affected by the black coffee Jim’s wife had 
forced on them. So Andrew drove. Stephan was quiet at first, but as he sobered 
he sat up and looked out. He was lost. There was moonlight on long grass in 
fields beside the road. The fields went as far as he could see with only the road 
dividing them and giving them form. The grass was blue-green in the light and it 
sparkled from dew that might have been frost the week before. There were no 
cars on the road and Andrew was driving quickly. The road was straight and all 
they could see was the pavement and the fields. 

“Where are we?” 

Andrew didn’t answer though he accelerated. The lights of another car 
approached and disappeared. 

“Where are we? Andy, where the hell are we going? I’ve never seen this place 

“I just felt like driving. I didn’t think you’d wake up before we got back. I 
didn’t think you’d mind. Go back to sleep.” 

“Well, where are we? I’ve never been anywhere like this.” 

“We’re on an old highway, a few miles out of town. These are farms around 
here. Big, empty fields....” 

“Yeah, they’re nice .... Are we coming or going?” 

“I’m still leaving town, if that’s what you mean.” 

“That’s what I meant. How far are you going before you turn around?” 

“I don’t know. Just sit back and calm down. Stop worrying.” 

And they drove silently through the fields, watching them pass quickly 
without landmarks, fields of long grass and blue light. It seemed they drove for 

Finally Andrew spoke. His voice was stern, like an old teacher, and he spoke 



“I want to talk to you.” 


“I want you to talk back, too.” 


“Steve, I’m tired of ... playing. It’s too hard to do ... How long have I known 

“A long time.” 

“You understand well enough, don’t you? I think you do. You’ll get tired if I 
don’t. We’re at least that much alike.” 


“I guess so.” 

“You understand?” 

“Yeah, I know.” 

“So what shall I do?” 

They were quiet for a while. Then Stephan spoke. 

“Let’s turn around.” 

The car slowed and made a three-point turn between the fields and drove 
toward the city. 

The child soon learned to sing the three notes of the tube’s song and he ate 
happily for a while. One day the tube sang four notes and he learned the fourth 
within three meals. 

Soon after he learned the fourth, the square in the wall came on again. He 
didn’t cry this time. When the blue screen played two notes he didn’t scream. 
After the screen had darkened he sang them and the blue re-appeared. Then the 
screen went blank and there was a low hum. He sang for blue and it lighted. He 
sang the low note and it darkened. 

He played with his toy for hours and then sang for food. As he ate, the screen 
turned yellow with two new notes. The child hummed for blankness and 
repeated yellow; the screen lighted yellow. 

By the end of the morning he had learned all the screen’s colors and he 
played with changing them. Once he sang four notes in a quick melody and 
combined blue and green. With his compounds he made oranges and browns and 
even a song of black and he was delighted. But he was tired and hummed for 
blankness and slept. He was awakened by new notes. On his square was a picture 
of a tree. 

When they got to Andrew’s, all the windows in the neighborhood were dark. 
The car seemed to roar down the street and Stephan said something about the 

They parked a block away and walked ‘slowly, talking about the card game 
and swinging their arms in the cool air. At the door Stephan began to talk more 
quickly and he came in as if he were engrossed in remembering the full house 
Alex had held in the last hand. But after they were inside the room he was 
abruptly quiet and they just stood and scuffled a little and moved around. Food 
was offered and refused, drinks were made and Andrew sat down, staring at the 
furniture. Stephan turned on the television, but there were only various test 
patterns and an old movie. So he tried music and sat down opposite Andrew, 
listening to the record drop. 


They both sat very still and listened. They looked at lamps and magazines and 
at carpet and walls and, once, each other and, embarrassed, looked away. 
Andrew was intent upon his glass for a while. He whirled the drink, clinked the 
ice and spilled a little on the floor. They tried to talk about cards some more. 
They even tried to talk about the fields and the dew on the grass and what nice 
weather it was. But it was obvious how comic they were and they were soon 
laughing at themselves. But it was a a nervous, wordless laugh and neither of 
them moved. Finally the last record ended and as Stephan stood to change it 
Andrew spoke. 

“You know, what I was saying tonight, it was all kind of - kind of-” 

“Andy, I know what you were talking about.” He paused, then went on. 
“Let's stop fooling around and clearing our throats. Let’s go to bed.” 

He started the records and they left the room. 

Soon the child could recognize all the pictures the screen showed him. He 
knew mountains and trees and all sorts of animals and flowers and even a few 
people. He sang their notework names as their pictures flashed on and later he 
learned to sing the names to see pictures. The screen showed him everything he 
asked for and he sang pitches to ask for everything. 

Until one day he woke and the square was gone. There, in its place, was a 
door with a small handle and no screen. He sang for red, for meadows, for 
forsythia, but nothing happened. So he reached for the door and pulled at it; it 
opened and he crawled out. Outside his room was another room, larger and 
cooler than the first, and in the room were two people, a man and woman whom 
he'd seen on the square. He sang their names in a frightened voice and turned to 
go, but the man sang to him in notes he’d never heard and he stopped. He tried 
to sing, but all he could say were colors and flowers and names. He couldn’t ask 
or explain; he could only endlessly sing his musical catalogue. 

The man and woman merely smiled and picked him up. They sang softly and 
in new notes. He heard melodies he knew - their names, his room, food, singing 
- but he couldn’t follow their voices. He listened carefully, but he didn’t 
understand. They held him close and moved slowly, soothing him with their 
song and their bodies and soon he fell asleep. 

When he awoke he was alone. He looked around and cried and the woman 
came and brought him food, but before she gave it to him, she sang. The first 
melody was her name, the last food, but he didn’t recognize the middle. He 
repeated it and she smiled. With her hands pushing from her she mimed a gift 
and sang the notes again. He copied her and she smiled and left. He ate the food 
she had brought and sang the sequence to himself. 


Andrew woke warm in Stephan’s arms and looked to see if Stephan were 
awake: his eyes were closed and he breathed slowly. Andrew looked at his clock; 
the alarm would go off in ten minutes and then he and Stephan would get up 
and shave, gulp coffee and go, as if nothing had happened. He would go on as 
usual and move papers during the work day. After he closed the rattling door he 
would meet Stephan and have dinner and everything would be the same. At least 
he felt the same. Everything was as it had been for him. For him at least. Maybe 
Stephan would have new ideas. Maybe he would change, would avert eyes and 
stare at the furniture and find excuses for dinner. Andrew might not see the 
fields again. Stephan might find a difference and disappear. And Andrew soon 
resigned himself to crush the alarm clock. He settled himself to his melodramatic 
ending and drummed his fingers on his chest. Then Stephan rolled over and slept 
warmly beside him and Andrew smiled, smiled very quietly so as not to wake 

Eventually the alarm went off and Stephan sleepily floundered for it where 
he knew his clock should be. Andrew, on the other side, turned it off and rolled 
over, drowsing quietly. After a few minutes they both forced their eyes open 
and looked around. 

“Good morning.” 

“I’ll say ‘Good morning,’ but my body doesn’t believe it. I could sleep eight 
more days .... What time is it?” 

“It’s ... eight-fifteen. I’ve got to be at work at nine. How about you?” 

“What’s today? ... Thursday .... Today I have an appointment at nine-thirty. 
I’ve got plenty of time. I may not move for an hour.” 

“Good for you .... Sorry, but I’ve got to go. Enjoy your rest.” 

Andrew got up and took a shower, fixed coffee and shaved. By the time he 
finished, the coffee he’d poured was cool enough to drink and he gulped as he 

As he left the room Stephan called to him. He tensed and answered. 


“I said, ‘What time do you want to meet for dinner?'” 

“Oh ... I don’t know. What time do you finish?" 

“My last patient is at four-thirty, so anytime after that is fine. Why don’t you 
come over whenever you finish and we’ll go.” 

Andrew nodded and said goodbye. As he left the room he whistled and he 
whistled all the way to the office. 


Soon the child knew almost all the songs the man and woman sang. He knew 
how to ask for food, how to describe sleep, how to tell ghost stories. He could 
sing everything he wanted to mean, without words, and his voice would carry as 
if he were whistling in an empty room. And the man and woman corrected his 
melodies until his songs were perfect and eloquent and then they left him. 

After they were gone he sang to himself for a while and wandered around the 
room. Soon he was hungry and sang for them to bring food, but they didn’t 
come. He sang louder, but no one answered. He began to cry, but no tube 
lowered. He ran around in tight circles, screaming to himself, but still there was 
no response. Finally he stopped and choked his breathing and looked. He came 
to a door, opened it and left the room. 

Outside, he was in a hallway with a large glass door and several chairs. He 
opened thy new door and left this room, too. He was on a sidewalk and there 
were people walking all around him, but he didn’t recognize them. He stopped a 
woman and sang his question to her. She smiled, patted his head and walked on. 
One man paid no attention when he pulled at his sleeve. Another stopped and 
spoke ih quick, tuneless sounds and the child did not understand. When he sang, 
everyone made sharp sounds with their lips and teeth. He walked down the 
street and sang, but everyone stared at him and walked on by. Soon he was tired 
and frightened and he stopped singing and looked around. 

Andrew moved papers all day and had lunch at one. Stephan saw his patients 
until four-thirty. Then he went home and changed clothes and slept until 
Andrew came. They went to dinner and talked about work and food and old 
friends. After dinner they walked to Stephan’s. Andrew turned on the records, 
Stephan mixed drinks and then they both read their newspapers: Stephan, the 
Times, in his leather reclining chair; Andrew, the Sun, stretched out on the 




Marks my spot 
Adam and Eve 
had no navels 
Feature that! 

Two people like that 
now could make a 
small, dirty fortune 
showing twice daily 



Piers and Pillars 

of our docks and queues 

Blind me steal me' 

Tiresius upon me 
Bareback riding 
Pegasus Proud 
against the possibilities 
of the falling temperatures 
and a night in the city pound 

Then you shall go up 
From the lands of Canaan 
To New Haven and there 
You shall cut calves 
In my holy stockyards 
My priest of vespers 


r.b. McDonalds 

English 56 

I don’t like ripping into poems 
To find a lost Inspiration, 

A wandering soul, 

Poetic injustice, 

Or that intense moment 
Of spontaneous awareness. 

I’d rather move through 
Each line aimlessly, 

Watch slow syllables slide by, 
And gaze open-eyed 
At the wonderous beauty 
Of words, 

And listen to 
The soft blur 
Of melting vowels, 

And consonants in harmony 
With life 
And the themes 
Of love and truth... 



The Tehee Went ee forever 

the fence went on forever 

as far as we could tell 

green and greedy under the tree 

we gathered our acorns, stuffing our pockets 

till we could barely walk 

scampering like overloaded chipmunks do 

the acorns were our coins and 

we were the richest in the class 

and we never spent our money 

towards the jungle jim was a tree 

and you could stick your hand up a hole in it 

and feel a dead squirrel 

the girls were afraid 

I never was really able to cross the climbing bars 
without stopping 
my hands stung like bees 

there was a place by the stairs 
that was painted in bright roadline yellow 

the teacher said it meant danger 
and we knew about danger, 
we used to play games of courage. 


jumping in and out of TABOO 

afraid we would blow up from a Nazi bomb 

or something 

one boy used to walk around inside 
and laugh at us 

we thought maybe he was a Nazi 

some of the bushes on the hill 
tasted like library paste or peppermint 
and we used to go out 
dry from play 

and break off sticks to suck in class 

if you got the wrong bush you wanted 
to spit for a week 
the hill had many paths and 
one lead to the cliff from which 
the great Arabian sand dunes 
extended for miles to the horizon 
this cliff was separate from the fence 
and the land beyond 
we thought they must grow grapes there 
cause it looked like France 
but we never went beyond the fence, 
for it was danger to leave the schoolyard 
if you went beyond the fence, 
a man would take you 
you'd miss the bell for class 
we used to play around the fence 
and fake falling off the cliff 

one guy jumped off and we would have told the teacher 
of his death, but we felt guilty - 
we hoped they never found his body. 



Animal Bp@Ii®: 

A Fable liil^e 

There were once three beings who were very fond of each other. They were 
good friends, such very good friends that they ate together and drank together 
and made merry together and tried to look into each other’s eyes. They were 
very different from each other, but each was very fond of the other two. And so 
they were quite happy. 

She said to him-Joe-she said-this has got to stop. 

-We have to do something about Michael. 

-Right. Something must be done about him. 


-Good question. What can we. . . 

-Joe, I hate and despise him. 

-I wouldn’t go so far as to say that . . . 

-No, you wouldn’t. But I would. 

Lara was a bit impetuous with flittering long white hands. 

-The thing about Michael is, the problem with Michael is, is that he’s so 
terribly sure of himself, so secure in his own little world. 

Joe, a thin and nervous tower of indecision, perpetually hesitated until he 
burst forth with some revelation of feeling, startling because it came from him, 
the impregnable, the deep. 

—While we jitter and fret and are neurotic and suicidal. 

-And he just sits back and trusts, trusts, damn it. 

-Joe. I hate him. I loathe him. 

-No, you don’t, he attracts you somehow, you know, beyond friendship. 

-Attracts me? Are you insane? 

-He does, you know. 

-Well Joe maybe ... he does kind of. Just a little. It’s a subjective fascination 
I assure you. 

-Yeah, well. Anyway, you don’t really hate him, we are his friends, you 
don’t really hate him and neither do I. 

-But we’ve got to bother him somehow-shake his little world until the damn 
teacups rattle and break . . . 

-And his damn piano is out of tune. 

-And he hasn’t any faith anymore. 


-We’ll do it. 


-We owe it to him. 



At this time, they were sitting, Joe and Lara, in the dusty straw of a fly-filled 
barn on the hottest day of summer. They were long-limbed and raw-nerved; they 
maneuvered the straw in fretful jerks, while Michael was broad chested, 
gentlemanly and unmovable as a bear. A Russian bear beset by fretful borzois in 
the poetic sense. Joe and Lara plotting. To dispose of Michael, or at least of his 

-Joe-she said through the piece of straw in her mouth-I could seduce him. 

—Seduce him? 

-I mean try to or begin to or something. 

-And then? 

—Well then I’d stop I guess and leave him, well, you know, leave him coldly. 

-Oh, sure. Yeah. 

-Joe I’ve already started to anyway. 


—Now Joe I can’t explain the whys or anything. I just sort of told him that 
we would eat with him tonight, and that you were “just okay,” while he. . . 

-Why the hell did you say that? 

-How do I know? A premonition? 

—Oh, really. 

—No I mean I think this plot or whatever has been brewing inside me for a 
while. Part of the triangle. 


-Michael is making stew or something for us tonight. Lamb with Julia Child. 


-We could have an argument. 

—Would that be so contrived? 

—Joe! This is purely hypothetical. Not at all symbolic. We’re trying to 
destroy part of Michael. . . not ourselves, right? 

—How do I know you’re not plotting against me, destroying me, right? 

-Joe that’s ridiculous. It’s Michael that’s irritating me, not you, that’s all. 

-All right, let’s say you lure him, seduce him, excite him, after he’s sure that 
we two can’t stand each other . . . 

-Then Joe you could come in and I’d leap up cool as ice and he’d see what a 
fool he’d been. 

-And perhaps, the big perhaps, the absolute question, he will be mad, he will 
be furious. 

—That’s it-we've never seen him mad, you know, Joe. Always so tolerant and 
sure of himself. 

-And we will have shaken that damn faith he has, made him neurotic, more 
like us. 

-If he can’t trust his friends he’ll be unsure and full of anxiety and all. He’ll 


be friendless and ego-less and fearful. 

—Just like us. 

-Yeah. Just like us - she said, trying to look abstracted. She wasn’t really 
suicidal, but it was good pretending, exciting to make Joe think she was 
precariously perched on the brink of insanity. Aren’t we all insane and all that. 

And that is that. It almost happened. They had feigned argument over 
Michael's lamb stew and Michael’s strong wine, and she had seen the gleam in 
Michael’s eyes as she brushed up against him. “Leaping doe’s eyes" ran through 
her head as if she had read it somewhere. And Michael irritated her no longer. 
But they grew suspicious of each other, Joe and she, and feared that they were 
indeed plotting against each other, clawing at each other, Michael merely a 
vehicle of vengeance. When three have shared so much, might they not share 
three plots, as well? 

-Lara-It was Joe fastening his hand onto her arm and looking at her with 
eyes which she knew he thought piercing. 

-What is it? Michael is going to come back in a second. 

She was squirming and hoping to look relaxed at his touch, his first, trying to 
be cool. Her feet looked bony against Michael’s mother’s hardwood floor. 

-Lara, this scheming, are you with or against me, because if the joke’s on me, 
then by God, I'll . . . 

He faltered. She squirmed. She saw his eyes. Trapped. So he wanted her to 
throw her arms around him and be passionate. She was definitely withered inside 
and shrank back, shrank away. 

-Oh God. 

-Joe it’s not what you think . . . 

She knew now. She was no longer feigning chess which she could not play. 
Michael? Joe was going, lunging toward the outside door. They were plotting 
against her, and she had revealed herself. Joe despised her now; of that she was 
certain. And Michael, cruel at last, would laugh. At her. She sat down on 
Michael’s mother’s hardwood floor and shivered, felt her breath ache. 

Then there they were: Joe and Michael. Michael and Joe. Her long fingers 
played, drawn to neither of them and to both. She was confronted. Joe was 
hurt. She knew herself at last-hatred and love being the same and all that. 
Michael, I have done you an injustice, she thought. Punishment: he was 
detached, of course. She felt that he looked at her coldly, shaking his head at her 
incoherence, her hesitancy to unveil herself. 


The three friends sat in the dark on the cold wood floor, their heads full of 
wine and hot darkness coming in the open door and mosquitoes droning as in a 
tale by Hemingway. 

-Why, Lara? Why do this? 

It was Michael the Mediator. 

—I can't explain. 

-All I want to know is: what’s the story? Are we, are you, sadistic, or what? 

It was Joe the Victim. 

-Now, Joe, take it easy-said Michael the Mediator. 

-I don’t know-said Lara the Accused. - I don’t know I don’t know; I don’t. 

-It’s all right-said Michael the Mediator. 

And she thought, you are so strong; you are the one least touched by this and 
we, Joe and I, are gone, completely drained, estranged, deranged . . . 

-Lara, I don’t understand you. And I don’t particularly care to, either, I 
prefer not to. 

Joe the Victim turned away. He was turned away. 

-Look people I’m going to say something literary and stupid - but this is it 
and I’m going home as soon as I’ve said it. Okay. “Aftermath ... we three are 
scattered to the winds.” Goodnight. I’m sorry. 

And she left Joe the Victim lying on his face on the oaken floor and Michael 
the Mediator sitting cross-legged with a panoply of stars visible over his head 
through the open door. That night she dreamed of three strange animals, three 
mythological animals, leaping and stretching and in and around each other, 
purple and green and red-gold animals with no definite shape, but with fiery 
eyes. They were incoherent and ate fire. Three strange animals with Leaping 
Does’ Eyes, impatient at finding their landscape dreamed. 


A Quick View of the Dilemma 
of the Grapefruit 

Wanting to make a gift of some grapefruit to my next-door neighbors and 
uncertain as to how to go about it as I had not been over to see them for some 
time. I was given 9 grapefruit - 2 of which I had already given away. I now had 
6 left (I ate one last night) and was planning to give 2 to my neighbors. As I 
stood in my room holding the 2 grapefruit I planned to present, I was struck 
with doubts and fears. “Was not 2 grapefruit a paltry gift? Did it not seem 
ridiculous to pilgrimage over to their room to give them only 2 grapefruit?” 
Besides, for some reason it seemed to imply unsettling Freudian insinuations. 
Would they arch their eyebrows, flare their nostrils and silently question, “What 
does she mean giving us these 2 grapefruit, eh?” Then, what if they did not like 

I could instead wrap them up, sneak out at 2:00 in the morning, and leave 
them on their doorstep with a note explaining that I would be out of town for 
the next two weeks but please accept these grapefruit anyway. Or, simpler yet, 
mail them as if I myself had been in Florida and was thinking of them. No. It 
came down to either marching over and giving them 2 grapefruit, 3 grapefruit, or 
the whole box - explaining that I myself really did not like . . . perhaps 3 
grapefruit would be the best. But, when you consider that most people only eat 
V 2 a grapefruit at a time, then 3 would be 6 grapefruit consuming sessions. But 2 
would only be 4. Perhaps I could cut one in half. If I gave them 3, then well, I 
might not have enough for my friends who might drop by and how nice it would 
be to ask them if they wanted some grapefruit but shucks I gave it all away. 
Well, I would hold 2 grapefruit and then hold 3 grapefruit, and then see which 
felt the most appropriate-the least embarrassing. This is it. 

It did not end there with my sensibilities warped and confused; with my 
staggering under this decision I had to make. Somehow it could not be made and 
I dropped the grapefruit and rushed from the room out into the night. I jumped 
on my bicycle and sped away into the darkness. I arrived at a girl’s dorm where 
they were having a George Washington’s Birthday party. I looked in the room 
where they were having it. Seven girls in red nightshirts, red bows in their hair, 
and red construction paper cherries tacked to their rears were singing a 
suggestive song about George cutting down the cherry tree. There were many 
guffawing people there muching Fritos and potato chips. As a matter of fact, 
there were definite insectlike humming swarms of curlerheaded dorm dwellers in 
pajamas thriving around the chip dip areas. I tasted all the different dips-blue 
cheese, bean, cheddar cheese, onion, taco—and left just as the singing Cherry 
Sisters were ad-libbing about George, after all, being the father of our country . . 



I went outside and stood by my bike and recrunched the bits of Frito still 
stuck in my teeth and wondered why it was that my attitude was so often 
apologetic. “Oop sorry for, ah, dropping that bean dip on your notebook.” I 
always feel so furtive, like the giraffe at the water hole, yet like the last match 
that wouldn’t light, yet like if anywhere someone has eaten the last 
brownie-Who’s eaten that last brownie?!-it must have been me. It was the same 
with the grapefruit. I was going to wind up feeling apologetic and miserable no 
matter what I did. Or so it seemed. 

It was not as if I had all the time in the world. “I have a Physical 
Anthropology test tomorrow,” I thought. Faint recollections of taxons and 
lineages, lemurs and golden pottos, hairyfaced tamarins and true barefaced 
tamarins, Gigantopithecus and Pliopithecus impinged disturbingly upon the 
decision at hand. I had to study and memorize all that I had been putting off for 
weeks and weeks in a matter of one evening which was already gone: 11:30 and 
what had I accomplished. I jumped back on my bike and sped home. I struggled 
up the embankment by my house dragging the bike after me, dropped the bike 
in the yard, clamoured in the door, dashed to the kitchen, grabbed 2 grapefruit, 
rushed to my neighbor’s, held the 2 grapefruit out, one in each hand, and said, 
“Here. Here are your grapefruit.” They had company. There was a certain 
silence and I supposed that I had to say more. “My parents sent these grapefruit 
from Florida and I thought that you would like some.” They both picked one 
up and smelled it and said thanks and made jokes and had no idea that this 
moment was the termination of an evening of hesitation, terror, and tired wits. I 
left soon explaining that I had a test to study for. Now I cannot. I am home with 
the books in front of me and the 4 grapefruit left in the box and all I can think 
of is whether I should have given them 3 . . . even though it’s too late now. Or, is 























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Jones got up he was on his back the sun 
was not yet up, but him used to that 
the planes went overhead at the usual hour 
but today was accident, today it whistle. 

Jones wondered, wasn't whistle of he, 

wasn't whistle of tea kettle, what whistle 

was? was bomb was what world's biggest 

piece of bird turd and smacko Jones flies 

in air. Newspaper man see all write all—Man fly on own power 

Jones land, man says what you say Jones 

he says "Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute." 

Jones know. 




the Common People 
Are Becoming More So 

To be sure, Norton, Virginia may not be the loveliest town one could stumble 
into, but it is, nevertheless, a very colorful community. It is there, in a tiny 
Appalachian valley which nests 3,500 people, that I was born, schooled, and 
introduced to smoking, drinking, cussing, girl watching, and all the other bad 
habits which make life easy-going. I confess that there is nothing in Norton 
interesting enough to deserve placement upon the front of a post-card, but the 
tourists find amusement in simpler things like camping and fishing. As a matter 
of fact, a big source of delight for the visitor is the local telephone book. Hardly 
bigger than two comic books stapled together, it is the directory for the entire 
county and is just as humorous as any funny book. No where else in Virginia can 
one find such a collection of great names like Bertha Livingtston, Quince 
Thacker, Rebecca Fondsock, Baxter Beverly, Calvin Coolidge Hale, Ruby Hill, or 
Gladys Snodgrass. The Yellow Pages aren’t bad either. A careful perusal of them 
reveals that the most abundant businesses in the area are feed stores, fish bait 
suppliers, carpet dealers, and well diggers. This type of information is a fast and 
accurate indication of what Norton is all about . . . the commercial hub of Wise 
County. Actually, I rather enjoyed the phone book the first ten times I read it, 
but after that, it grew old in a hurry. Now that I think about it, many things in 
that town grew old in a hurry, but because everyone is avidly searching for an 
escape from boredom, there is usually pretty much to do. 

I can remember spending hours in the Poster Shop when it first opened in 
1966. “Handy” Mullins tacked it on the side of his newsstand and filled it, I 
think, blindly with hundreds of rolled photographs that he bought on faith from 
some salesman from Cincinnati. They were sold in a small, stark room with walls 
painted in the loudest, most clashing colors. Here and there were a dozen posters 
hanging on exhibition, with the rest of them, manhandled by the customers, 
stashed in vertical, cardboard bins. The most prominent poster on display was 
also the most puzzling. It was a retouched photograph of Mona Lisa holding a 
rather ornate roach clip in her lap. I say puzzling because in 1966, very few 
people anywhere knew what a roach clip was and no one in Norton knew until 
some five years later. One thing is for sure, though, the Southern Baptists would 
run “Handy” out of town in a minute if they ever find out. 

Anyway, I always wanted a small art gallery there instead of a poster shop, 
but the folks around didn’t have much demand for art or excellence. Besides, 
“Handy” did quite well with his little place and I was told that lately he has 
branched into the top-forty-records business. 


One of the best friends I ever made was Ralph Milam who ran Ralph’s Barber 
Shop. He came to Norton from Washington when I was sixteen years old. Ralph 
had made a good name for himself in Washington as a superb men’s hair stylist, 
however, he didn’t much care for the hustle of the city and came to Norton 
when he had made enough money to start his own business. Nearly everyone 
appreciated his addition to the community because he was easily the best barber 
around and a fine stand-up comic, as well. 

My younger brother and I used to go to Ralph’s almost everyday after school, 
not so much because we were infatuated with the hair cutting process, but 
because Ralph kept us spellbound with tales about the Cold War navy and his 
incomparable sex life. Maybe that was a mistake, now that I think about it. 
Talking about sex, I mean. It seems that if you ever start talking sex to 
somebody, you eventually wind up talking about it every time you run into the 
guy. Still, Ralph was quite the stud and we used to get plenty of vicarious sex 
fulfillment from the conversations when we were suffering from a dry spell. 

Anyhow, Ralph gave three kinds of haircuts: the eight dollar deluxe razor cut 
and hairstyle, the two dollar, ordinary haircut, and the free, ordinary haircut 
which was reserved for his children, cousins, and my little brother. The eight 
dollar jobbie, though, was a real visual treat because it allowed the true artist in 
Ralph to emerge. The first part of the procedure was a soothing, protein 
shampoo followed by a delicate razor cut. Then the styling gel was put on and, 
finally, he went to work with his hair dryer. I spent plenty of time in that barber 
shop and never once saw Ralph give a bad, eight dollar hair cut. The trouble was 
that he very seldom got to give one because mountaineers are the last people to 
appreciate the art of hair styling. Perhaps that was why my brother and I went 
there so often: we were always hoping to see the masterful creation of a deluxe 
haircut. I suppose Ralph averaged one of these every two weeks, which I always 
thought was fairly insulting to his talents. 

I’ll never forget the day that Frank Sexton came to the shop. He was 
Norton’s token freak and had hair so long that most of the rednecks called him, 
“Francis." Well, since Frank hadn’t even considered a haircut for over two years, 
we were dumbfounded when he requested the eight dollar works. I don’t know 
what motivated his decision, but I was glad he knew a good barber when he saw 

Ralph approached him slowly, scissors in hand, and muttered, “I feel like a 
mosquito in a nudist colony; I know what to do, I just don’t know where to 

Without a doubt, most of my boyhood was influenced by an old character 
named Hub Gilliam. He was a backwoods philosopher, square dance caller, and 
the local bootlegger. I often thought that Hub was the man who inspired A1 
Capp to create Pappy Yokum because the two were almost identical. The only 
difference was that Hub was a more discriminating drinker than his double from 
Dog Patch. 


One morning when I was seventeen, I ran into him downtown. The prospects 
for an exciting day weren’t too hopeful, so Hub invited me out to his little farm 
to visit for awhile. Since I had had hundreds of such visits and four times that 
many drinks with him in the past, I thought one more trip would be just that 
much more beneficial. 

Soon the two of us were sitting on his front porch staring at a gigantic ten 
gallon bottle in the yard about twelve feet away. Fastened to the bottle’s mouth 
with electrical tape, there was a three foot piece of a garden hose which dangled 
to the ground. Hub and I always watched the thousands of miniscule bubbles 
evolving from the bottom of this home brew contraption with the same 
fascination as the small boy in front of a tropical fish tank. 

In such a familiar situation, it was never too long before he started discussing 
the finer points of the brewer’s art. This was our favorite topic because I had 
developed the deepest appreciation for a good drink and Hub had more pride in 
his skill than any artist in any field. He grew all of his grain himself and used 
only water from a spring reservoir on a hill behind his house. He was just like a 
famous chef or magician regarding all the other ingredients secretly involved. 
The most he’d ever let me do was to transfer the fresh, white liquor to the 
charcoal kegs. Hub insisted upon mellowing his moonshine for at least three 
years because drinking the untamed stuff was as sinful as touching a portrait 
before it was dry. He was right, too, because his sour mash whiskey was easily 
superior to the best Jack Daniel’s Black Label. 

We used to make a lot of jokes about the Sturgill family in Guest River 
Hollow who supplied most of southwest Virginia with white lightning. All they 
were interested in was mass producing cheap whiskey that never failed to do the 
trick. I saw their set-up once. They had replaced the traditional copper “worm” 
with an automobile radiator because it cooled more efficiently. That was not 
nearly as bad as their methods for delivering punch to their product. They used 
all kinds of tricks like adding calcium carbide, which produces methane gas, or 
tobacco juice. 

Anyhow, their stuff was five dollars a gallon and Hub’s was sixteen. 
Obviously, Hub didn't get to sell much, but he never was in bootlegging for the 

I can remember a notice I saw in the ABC store one day. It said that the year 
before twenty people in the state of Virginia died from lead poisoning by way of 
illegal liquor and that another sixty were permanently blinded. If I were a 
romantic, I'd say that they experienced such euphoria on their binges that they 
voluntarily willed themselves death or blindness, but I don't think that was the 
case at all. 




Consider the rain that falls on hay fields 
In the midst of August, after the sun 
Has baked each grassy leaf, and now yields 
To the gathering storm. 

Hear how the rumbles of a distant thunder 
Seem to echo from the clouds themselves, 
A warning that we had best get under 
A shelter other than sky. 

Yet our hearts neglect the tumult above; 
Our thoughts are with the hidden sunlight; 
Our home is in the grass, and being in love 
We choose the sky. 


A Web 


a web of circumstances 

separates your world from mine 

drawing its filmy curtain between us 

not completely inpenetrable 

since we have caught 

those momentary glimpses of each other 

that faded away as a phantasm 

leaving us uncertain 

that we have ever known 

each other at all. 



Tom and Jim 

It looked more like a modern surburban den than a doctor’s waiting room. 
The walls were pine-paneled and littered with a few Currier and Ives prints. The 
furniture was old, but comfortable. A few porcelain knick-knacks decorated 
some window shelves: little fairy-tale figures probably intended to cheer up 
some terrified child awaiting a shot. A few things, though, gave away the true 
nature of the place. A magazine stand overflowed with greasy McCalls' and 
slobbery Highlights for Children. A neat sign hung by the door: “Unless you 
have established your credit with us, bills for services rendered are payable in 
cash." Finally, the room was pervaded with the enervating stench of alcohol and 
mortality peculiar to doctor’s offices and hospitals. 

Tom Hull picked up a decaying Life and sat down. He was alone in the room 
except for a somewhat corpulant older woman sitting in a comer busily knitting 
an indeterminate garment. He put the envelope containing the forms for his 
college physical on his lap and began thumbing through the magazine he had 
already read twice. Trips to the doctor held an added interest for Tom. Dr. 
Buckner’s office was in Ashton, the little town where he had been born eighteen 
years before. His family had moved to a larger town about thirty miles up the 
road when he was ten, but they continued to visit Dr. Buckner for check-ups and 
such. He was an old-fashioned small-town GP and a good one and it seemed 
unnecessary to find a new doctor for a drive of less than an hour. 

Tom found it interesting to return to this world for a brief stay. Ashton 
didn’t change much and he felt a kind of joyful melancholy in returning to his 
first stage with the set intact. He had, it seemed, a memory associated with 
nearly every place in the town, latent memories which only the physical sight of 
the place could call up, and he had come to love the sudden shocks of 
recognition which trips to Ashton held in store. If I get out of here at a 
reasonable hour, he thought, I’ll drive around a while before heading home. He 
had only recently acquired that modern totem of manhood, the driver’s license, 
and he relished the independence it gave him. 

He skipped over an article on mongoloid babies that had depressed him the 
first time he had read it (was that only last trip here? he couldn’t remember), 
and looked out the window into the parking lot. A station wagon of recent 
vintage pulled in. Two people were in the front seat: a middle-aged woman was 
driving and a young girl, presumably her daughter, rode beside her. Bored with 
the magazine, Tom followed the car into a parking space with his eyes, then sat 
forward with a start when the occupants got out. 



I’ll be damned! It’s Mrs. Perry, he thought. The Perrys lived next door to the 
Hulls during the latter family’s last few years in Ashton. They had a boy, Jim, 
two years older than Tom, and then had started producing girls, Tom forgot how 
many. Apparently this was the youngest with Mrs. Perry. She looked to be about 
eight and resembled the other Perry girls; not quite cherubic. They all had the 
kind of angelic countenances found in the pictures of an Illustrated Family 
Bible, but something was missing, Tom thought, perhaps a proper air of 
innocence. Mrs. Perry looked about the same to Tom, which surprised him for 
he had heard periodic reports concerning various mental and physical ills of her 
husband. Then again, she had always looked pretty haggard with her brood and 
half the rest of the neighborhood underfoot. 

They were headed towards Dr. Buckner’s office. As they came across the 
parking lot, Mrs. Perry reached down and took hold of her daughter’s hand. As 
she did so, Tom noticed the child’s other hand, which was heavily bandaged. 
Those Perry kids were always up to some mischief, Tom thought as he surmised 
the possible accidents which could have befallen this, the youngest of the group. 

He thought back on the years when they had been neighbors. The adults had 
never been too close, which is not to say unfriendly. They just kept out of each 
other’s way. Big Jim, the father, had always looked a little uncomfortable in the 
surburban environment. He had been raised in the country (his father still 
farmed) and although he was an executive with a textile firm, he struck Tom’s 
memory as appearing ill-at-ease in his adopted life-style. He had never acquired 
the legible face of most businessmen: his eyes never gave away what he thought. 
He kept his secrets and didn’t smile. The only emotion Tom had ever seen him 
display was in the discipline he meted out to his children, discipline dispensed 
with rural thoroughness. 

His son and namesake was one of Tom’s best boyhood friends. He was just 
enough older and meaner to scare the hell out of Tom, but he did live next door, 
so the basis of their friendship was never questioned. They were still in that stage 
of childhood where a playmate was a playmate, and such consideration as liking 
a person were somehow irrelevant. In a flash, the fabric of the two boys’ 
activities appeared in Tom’s mind. 

Most of them, it seemed, had to do with make-believe mayhem of one sort of 
another. They had grown up before the advent of much concern over 
“socialization to violence” and their plastic Winchesters were in no danger of 
finding themselves at the feet of some department store manager. How could 
you play War without guns? 

Occasionally, Jim overstepped the bounds of make-believe. One of his 
favorite stunts involved the destruction of certain small frogs found in the grass 
on summer evenings. Jim would pick up the creatures by a leg and fling them 
against the brick wall of his house. They would explode like a water balloon. 


This activity worried even the normally agreeable Tom, and he remembered 
having the courage once to ask Jim why he did it. “I hate frogs. They cause 
warts,” was his terse reply. Tom didn’t question him, for he had seen the hate 
behind Jim’s eyes, eyes which normally displayed their father’s hooded secrecy. 

The boys’ consuming passion involved certain plastic soldiers about two 
inches in height. Each had received rather elaborate sets of blue and gray 
stalwarts one Christmas and Tom and Jim had pooled their resources to form 
impressive armies. If the weather was bad, the opposing forces were set up 
indoors in intricate battle formations. Then, god-like, Tom and Jim would stand 
above them, one to each army, and slowly kill off the soldiers. This activity was 
accompanied by suitable sound effects. Jim was never so frustrated as when he 
got his braces and had to say “Bang! Bang!” Something like “PPkkkrrr!” was 
more to both boys’ taste; an element of realism was important to the game. 

This desire for the real thing led the boys to look beyond their indoor 
warfare. The solution was found in an abandoned cotton field a few hundred 
yards behind Tom’s house. Plowed and left fallow, the field provided the perfect 
theater for bellicose fantasy. Some loose soil was used to fashion a rough fort: 
four walls about eight inches high. Architecture was not a major consideration. 
The soldiers were deployed inside the battlements, the boys repaired to a 
challenging but not impossible distance away (about twelve yards) and the 
attack began. 

The weapons were dirt clods of a size that fitted conveniently in the palms of 
their small hands. Strategy varied. Sometimes the projectiles were used to break 
down the walls of the fort, leaving the defenders exposed. More often, though, 
they tried to lob the clods inside where they would break up and scatter deadly 
dirt shrapnel. The latter provided more of a challenge with its considerations of 
distance and arc. Jim was always a more deadly and accurate gunner than Tom; 
his extra years added strength, but he seemed fired by inner zeal as well in his 
careful determination of range and rarely erring toss. Every so often, the cohorts 
would cease their barrage to check the damage-running a kind of body count. 
When the armies were sufficiently decimated, the miniature soldiers were 
resurrected and forced to submit to the ordeal once more. Darkness or the 
maternal announcement of a mealtime would force the boys home, filthy and 

All this flashed through Tom’s mind and he smiled. He recalled, too, his 
abortive attempts to continue the game after his move to the city. There were 
no cotton fields now and somehow gravel in the driveway failed to recapture the 
old thrill. Within two years, the plastic soldiers had found their way into the 
hands of the Salvation Army Christmas toy drive. 

A string of bells attached to the back of the door rang as the Perrys entered. 
The nurse at the receptionist’s desk looked up and smiled. "Good afternoon, 
Mrs. Perry? You’re a little early-won’t you please have a seat?” She leaned a 
little over her desk and waved at the little girl. “How’s your hand, Linda?” The 
child clutched tightly at her mother’s hand and looked sullen. 

“What do you say to Mrs. Ravenel, Linda?” 

A terse “better” was all the child managed and Mrs. Perry smiled an apology 
to the nurse as she moved to a seat and placed her daughter in her lap. Tom 
hoped his old neighbor wouldn’t recognize him and the dull look in her eyes as 
she quickly passed over his face told him she didn’t. He had not seen her since 
they moved and he really had no idea of what he could say. Fortunately, he was 
spared that ordeal. 

“Doris Perry! Goodness me, it’s been ages since I've seen you! How have you 
been?” This exclamation was delivered by the older woman who had been in the 
waiting room when Tom arrived. 

“Oh, hi, Ruby. I know, it has been a while, but this family of mine! If it’s not 
one thing, it’s another! They’ll be the death of me yet.” This last truism was 
intoned with an air of resigned finality. 

“You know, Doris, I think that child of yours gets prettier every day. But, 
dear me! Look at that hand! What ever did you do to it, Linda?” 

The little girl looked to be on the verge of replying, but her mother cut in 
suddenly. “Linda had a little accident, didn’t you?” Mrs. Perry looked up and 
laughed in an embarrassed fashion. “You know kids her age. Always up to 
something!” The brittle laugh broke out again. 

The child, who had been squirming during her mother’s explanation, 
suddenly spoke up. “I burned it on a firecracker. One of Jim’s that he throws at 
his dumb ol’ little soldiers.” She thrust her jaw forward and looked quite proud 
of herself for joining in the conversation like that. Her mother grinned 
sheepishly and appeared to be searching for something to say. Tom began 
flipping distractedly through the Life until he noticed, with relief, the nurse was 
motioning him to come into the examining room. 

After the check-up was complete, Tom hurried out. Mrs. Perry was leafing 
through the magazine he had abandoned and the little girl was still on her lap. 
The child looked up at him as he passed through, but he could not see behind 
her eyes. Although it was still early, he decided to drive straight home. 



I'm tired 

and my pale blue thoughts are tossed 

like balloon on the wind of inner restlessness 

all around me knowledge is melting 

like a castle of sandbags 

before a dissolving sea 

I long to cast upon the sandy waters 

and become just another unmoralizing rock 

covered with green moss 



The Lake 

Like the falling rain our hearts 
Are drawn to a precious lake, 

Where the elixer of life lathers the 

With waves of eternal dews that reach out 
And embrace the sky with their faces. 

A spring is the source of this lake, 

And some are united directly 
With its peculiar magic, 

While others must risk the long journey 
From the hillsides and streets of cities; 

A hazardous venture, for many brave travellers 
Are lost on their way to this great lake. 

Often have I heard of its wild waters 
From those who have escaped by the sunlight, 
Or have sought greener pastures in the 

For few can bear the weight of the mountain 

And many are swept away by other currents, 
To dwell forever in the endless cycle of 
the rain. 


And what will become of us, my love? 

Will we find the lake of the clouds 

In whose pure mountain waters we might fuse 

With the dews of ageless rains, 

And revel in the silent wildness of its deep 
Spring as it swirls life into the waters? 

It was not our fate to be united directly, 

And the current bears down on those 
Who attempt the long hike among 
The bewildering mountain streams of the 

But even if the lake eludes our search, 

The journey together is certain to be 
An exhilarating affair — a search for an 
Identity with nature — the quintessence of life... 

If you are ready, we will leave in the 
morning... early. 


i cannot stand to see 
your long curls 
or ponytails, your beards 
dark or light 
drifting past expressions 
merely passing thru this air 
i cannot stand your images 
filling up those melodies 
words or none 
without singing too 
my human beings 
touching never enough 
why am i so 
concerned for us 
are you so absorbed 
in walking by, glancing 
and missing my life 
i miss you so 
i do not want to be one 
if it is alone 
my emptiness flows 
with your eyes, your hands 
until it dies, screaming inside 
as i stand to become 
a walker-by. 




She disengaged from childhood, as a pearl from its cloudy matrix, and floated 
into life until I met her. I called her Odilla and gave her ink drawings; she rarely 
said she like them, and left them on cafe counters. 

I went to San Francisco in 1969. It was like going to see Camelot: not as 
good as most people said, not as bad as some others said... The first place to go 
in a new town is the local campus. I headed for the cafeteria like an ant-eater, 
and after an hour and some of scavenging trays I was Ali Baba, picking out a 
table in case, in the future, anyone wanted to make an appointment. 

The dissipation of summer is a fool and his money whose names and faces 
always appear in public places; and had there been any decent oak trees, the 
agony would have been blatant. But no one seemed to care that year (or any 
since) that nature was going through her period. There were days of wedgwood 
skies that the boys of 14-18 would have laid aside their guns to appreciate. Men 
then were children. 

I tried to picture all this romanticism, but failed in banal splendor. I was, 
however, starting to earn money with sidewalk sittings for chalk portraits. She 
came and sat on the little wooden folding chair on December first. 

Like a slow motion replay of sliding in safe at home, like a foaming seawave 
scudding up the shore, my hand moved out across the argent air, for the money. 
She had none. Fifty minutes for nothing. What care! what devotion! had gone 
onto that oyster-colored paper, to be exactly true to the honest beauty of the 
subject. Crap. I’m not a person who gets mad, jumps up and around, pats the air 
in front of me with the back of my open hand, rants, raves, or even winces. I 
said, “Well.” 

Being naive requires an explanation. Naivete is the perfect state of being, the 
Garden of Eden. But once a single startling fact is found out, we are thrown out, 
and then the only perfect state is to know all, both the good and the evil. She 
had just been cast out some months before, and was still learning. She had a 
hump-back Volvo. Perhaps, I thought, this is the ewige Frau, or maybe just one 
of the Walkure. I went to Seito’s house to listen to the Ring des Nibelungens. 

Schichinin Seito is a music student, brilliant pianist, and mediocre player of 
the shamisen, who always wears a suit and a .22 pistol in a shoulder holster, and 
who nearly commits harakiri every Sunday in honor of Wagner. He also bought 
25 dollars worth of Emily Dickinson 8 cent stamps last year, because he enjoys 
licking them more than any others. I finished the Ring three days later and left 
before Sunday. 

* * Vi- 


She came and sat on the wooden folding chair on Sunday. I drew her with 
patience and plum-colored lips, but she was not Astarte, not my ewige Frau. Her 
naivete was real, and not a pose of an eternal, condescending being, playful in 
mortality. I recited some lines of poetry to her: 

Toi qui sais faire des lits dans la mer... 

Warte, nur balde/ Ruhest du auch. 

She didn't think it rhymed, but she drove me to McDonald's and bought me 
anything I wanted. I was explaining that Cleopatra had to have been 
white-being of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a Macedonian family who intermarried 
to remain pure-when, looking into her eyes the color of the old black Chevy 
with the oxidized paint, I said, 

“I desire you.” No person who has desired another ever before, wants to 
begin desiring again, once the desire of the first part has deceased. The more you 
try to resist it, like food, the more it gnaws at you; the more you give in to it, 
like sin, the more you crave to indulge. But again, no one enters into desiring 
upon his own free will. It is the human condition, the desert of love. I desired 
her spiritually, but mostly I desired her physically. If she dyed her hair black, I 
thought, she would be what a sixteenth century peasant in Trieste would think 
to be an emissary of the Blessed Virgin. I think, if I desired her physically more 
than spiritually, it is because she was more abundantly endowed physically than 

spiritually. The hump-back ran out of gas on the way to Seito’s. Dumb. 

* * * 

He was still alive at nine o’clock, however. After sundown I figured him to be 
safe. Before sundown on Sunday, he would try to get me to carry the samurai 
sword in case he did decide to do the deed. He was conducting the Garrard 
turntable in the Tannh'duser Overture, and so didn’t hear me come in. When it 
was over, he turned and bowed, and seeing me, bowed again. I smelled lasagne. 

“Seito,” I began, “our great nations were once at war, following that 
dastardly, snivelling day of infamy, some twenty-odd years ago. What ever 
happened to the good old days?” 



“Au wa wakare no hajime.” 

“She has nice jugs.” Indeed. Waves, thorns of rose, fins of sharks, two young 
roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. I showed him the two portraits I 
had made of her from memory: one with blond hair, the other with black. Seito 
had the air of a judging angel when he considered art, and he graciously took on 
the same air to look at my portraits. I liked them. I liked the gold bangles and 
spangles I had added to the blond, and the white linen on the other. I had 


brought forth light from the cloudy gray paper, and now I must give it a name, 
which name will be: 


“Because of Redon?” 

“I hadn’t thought of that.” I liked Redon because he reminded me of myself. 
Some of his works were of great insight and power, while others were very 
mediocre. His grotesque was grotesque. He understood Lucifer, and portrayed 
him as a gentle, wistful young man, very much the brother of the portrait of 
Christ appearing to Saint Anthony in the sunburst. Seito raised the Japanese flag 
over the window: it served as a curtain, and the empirical blind. 

•k k k 

I was drawing a young woman with white boots and sticky hair, while her 
boyfriend, in red pants and white shoes, asked thirty-six questions. Odilla came 
from behind and said hello. To hear her voice was like Un bel di in Puccini, a 
gleaming ball-bearing rising from the sludge. I invented a lowcut bosom and 
charged the creep an extra dollar. I hate chutzpah wherever it is. Odilla, Odilla, I 
speak your name, and cypress trees resound your fame; I imagine you gothic 
spires, and you look with orphic lyres upon this winter heart of mine, to set a 
hearth of burning pine. Odilla take me home with you. 

Once, when I was a child . . . No. I don’t like to think I was ever a child. I 
once knew a boy who, when he was a child, was stung by a bee. The intense pain 
was transformed into pleasure at the thought that the damn bee would die. 
Served him right for sticking his stinger where it didn’t belong. Tod wo ist dein 
Stachel? She drove me to her home. 

Her parents must have thought it strange that I called their daughter Odilla, 
or even that I was with their daughter. I thought her parents strange. Perhaps I 
have never met more gentle and honest people than these parents of Swedish 
stock-the grandfather had come over in one of the migrations, and probably 
had nothing in common with Max von Sydow. Their home was furnished in 
Muzak style: absolutely mindless. It was a bubble of white innocence in the 
lanolin jelly of the world around them. They had not always lived here, and 
Odilla had grown up, sometimes all alone with her parents, in Minnesota and 



On my third visit her mother took me outside to see the stained glass window 
she was restoring, and to talk about Odilla. She was worried. Odilla had begun 
her college here-“You know, she has a talent for writing.” I had read some of 
her poems: I know/ That 1/ Am one/ With you, etc., so I smiled and nodded my 
head. "But you know some of these college people well, they’re just not...” She 
trailed off. I like trailing-off people. They’re still of the aristocracy of naivete. 
Odilla’s mother began tracing the decline and fall of her daughter-her descent 
into Hell (the college), her dislocation from the family setting. Several months 
before I had first seen her, Odilla had not come home one night. The mother and 
father were heart-broken. (She struck her breastbone. I thought of Clara Bow, 
with the back of her hand to her forehead; but I didn’t want my smugness to 
show, and miss out on the background lecture on Odilla by offending her 
mother. I have always been obsessed with knowing all I could about someone, 
but I have also learned to dominate that desir e-libido sciendi + libido 
dominandi = savoir-faire so that I had never quizzed Odilla on her personal 
data. I knew her tastes in movies and poets and what painters she knew. I had 
never met any of her friends. I thought, she’s like a Vespa in a world of Hondas, 
and I didn’t imagine her having any friends.) “She says she was just talking all 
the night, but Lord knows...” she trailed off. 

“What’s it of?” I asked. 

“We’re not sure. The house we got it from was tom down last year, and it’s 
just been in these boxes for a long time. It’s either a shepherdess or Mary.” 

Best to know, I thought. I mean, there’s a lot to divide the two. Anyway, 
Odilla was never the same after that night, apparently. I lost track of what her 
mother was saying, and found a strange delight in one of the panels of glass 
stained yellow. It would make a golden ray when the sun passed through it, 
whether pastoral or nativity. 

“Odilla,” I said that night-trying by my intonation and expression to put an 
end to the era of our relationship characterized by my glib flippancy, and trying 
to appear lordly, because I am only flippant to cover my self-concious 
insecurity-“what happened the night you never came home?” 


At night, wheh a pond is calm, it reflects light and peacefulness. When it is 
tormented by wind and storm, nothing can be reflected, and it is black and 
magnetic. The warm aureola of friendliness about Odilla suddenly was drawn in, 
like Dracula’s cape turning into a bat. She wouldn’t shift the Volvo into 4th gear 
. . . just drove around for a long time in silence and 3rd gear. I was ready to say 
that I regretted asking, when she answered. 

“Mama got to you, I see.” 

I nodded, knowing that my voice would not be true to my feelings, not 
knowing what exactly I ought to be feeling. 

“I was with friends-people from English class. We talked most of the night. . 


She ran a red light. I looked around, but no cars were near. 

“...and I went home with a boy.” The nimbus of her gentleness began to 
return to her face and voice. I wanted to touch her, like the little boy who is 
freezing wants to stick his feet in the fire. 

“That must be the ultimate put-down,” she continued. “The next morning he 
kicked me out and told me never to come around. He messed me up bad here 
(head)... First time... Bad time...” 

I wanted to say something. “Sorry” was not right. I thought of tant pis in 
French, but that's the wrong meaning. Tut mir leid was more exact, but cliche. I 
almost smiled; a bad move. It’s hard to look understanding, so I gave up and 
looked indifferent. I had been given the singular gift of appearing to be a wise 
counselor, apparently, since people, usually females, were always coming to me 
to air their troubles and seek advice. By perverse irony, I have never really been 
able to be sympathetic on those occasions, and I often give advice as unfeelingly 
as if I were pretending to be an English magistrate sentencing a poacher to five 
hours on the rack. Maybe if she had been born Japanese she would have sought 
an honorable end to her life; but being of Swedish stock she distilled guilt in her 
mind. Bergman would understand. Odilla had been collecting cisterns of gummy 
hurt ever since that night, and the only way to get rid of it was to run her mind 
at 70 mph for an hour and a half. Then she pulled into an empty Safeway 
parking lot and cried for a while, first in whines, then in whinneys, then in sobs. 
I was at a loss of words and my expression was out of control. I began to feel 
uneasy, but she pulled out of her crying crash-dive just in time. 

“I’m glad you're not ... disgusted ... or something,” she said. She was smiling. 
She was relieved. I was relieved that the worst was over. Compassion for my own 
plight must have shown on my face: Odilla reached over to me and put the palm 
of her hand very delicately against my cheek. I was amazed that I had by lack of 
character and will-power done the right thing. 

“Can you love me still?" 

We drove to Seito’s and told him to go buy some pizza or something, and 
gave him the keys to the Volvo. He had sewn chamois skins together to make a 
bedspread, and we sat drawing designs with our fingers for a few minutes. I ran 
my gaze over her forehead and nose and lips and chin and graceful neck. I drew 
my fingers across her cheek and lips, and pulled her hair softly up and out, and 
let it fall crisply against her shoulder. I kissed her. And she me. We fell back and 
lay on the skins, straining our necks to look at each other in the eyes. I reached 
over and started at the bottom to unbutton her shirt (I also eat pie starting at 
the crust on the base of the triangle), and when it was altogether unbuttoned, 
Seito came in with a 15 inch sausage-and-anchovie pizza and a gallon of apple 

“Seito,” I began, “you are a good person. You look like an intelligent 
Oriental, wise in the paths of life. I even like you. But when it comes to figuring 
things out, you don’t know Shit from Shinola. Where are some napkins?” 

Perhaps I should have put lamb’s blood over the doorway to have him pass us 
by. Maybe I shouldn’t have put a dollar’s worth in the damp hump-back Volvo. 
Oh well. Crap. 


The next morning, a dusty one, Seito was practicing his sortile virgiliano: 
letting the Bible fall open, then blindly pointing out a pas s age that would 
LOVE GOD, he pointed. Right. Everything had worked out the best way, I 
suppose. Getting what you want isn’t always getting what’t best. Besides, her 
real name was Sarah, which in Hebrew means “Princess.” And for a princess 
there should be but one knight. /// I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I had 
clothed her with so many of my own fancies that when she was undressed she 
still wasn't naked. I revel in appearing virtuous, but I’m haunted by the other 
possibilities, alternatives to virtue. Remembering Odilla will always be like 
walking with a lantern down the dark corridor of a museum of fine arts, with 
paintings of saints on one side, and, alternating, on the other side, scenes of 
concupiscence, with Helen, Diane, Cleopatra, Anges Sorel, and Salome: Salome 
by Moreau, Salome by Klimt, Salome by Dammann (in the middle of the 
hall —it’s a sculpture). 

Odilla, you were like Elizabeth Taylor playing Cleopatra: the fiction was 
delicious but the reality is disappointing. I thought you were something else. 




on contributors 

ANONYMOUS - is a Viet-Nam citizen who conducts sampan tours along the 
Mekong delta RUNNING BEAR is writer-in-residence at Wounded Knee, South 
Dakota DALTON BIGGS is a favorite son candidate from Blowing Rock, N.C., 
who may find that he can't go home again BOGATIN is one word DAOUD 
CHORO is a graduate student of whom it was said, "He cannot teach literature 
and write it too." Perhaps it is so. ROBERT AUBREY DAVIS is a Trinity senior 
from Washington, D.C., who has been published previously in The American 
Literary Magazine and who will have an upcoming article in The James Joyce 
Quarterly. DIFFERENT DRUMMER lost his fear of sharks and snakes before 
reading Walden MIKE ELLSWORTH is a senior from Longmeadow, 
Massachusetts N.P. GILLILAND is a Florida gator from Gainesville BOB GLASS 
is a senior who writes his own songs and plays them on his guitar JEFF 
HOLCOMBE is a senior from South Windsor, Connecticut MARY HOOK is 
studying elementary education in case Broadway doesn't let her play Eliza 
Doolittle on its stages. DONNA LANDRY, like James Wright, is from Ohio, and 
unlike him, is studying creative writing under Dr. James Applewhite R.B. 
MCDONALDS is presently serving 6 to 12 for larceny at the Loretta Lynn 
School for Boys JOHN STEVENSON a sophomore, changed his major from 
history to English when confronted with the question, "But what are you going 
to do with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School?" JEFF TALMADGE is a 
sophomore English major from Texas JENNIE KATHLEEN WHITE is a 
photographer and Duke junior from Durham KITTIE WHITE has an intinerant 
identity CONNIE WINSTEAD is submerged in wandering introspection, nature, 
and emotion 





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ft MlVtRl'TY L'!j 


I was Quasimodo then 
And you no less than Venus 
But now you pout and act as though 
Something’s come between us 
Well when you come into my tent 
Watch my Giacometti 

And don’t put your shoes on the letter I sent 

Last week to Ferlinghetti 

If you’re indifferent to my care 

What’s the sense in being cryptic 

Just put the jewelry from your hair 

Behind that Flemish tryptich 

I’ll find out by all my pains 

Whether you’re Hell or Heaven 

If there’s ketchup in your veins 

Or Heinz 57 

A magazine of literature and the visual arts published by the students of Duke 
University, Durham, North Carolina. 

olume 86 no. 1 autumn, 1973 

Editor , Thomas Noland 

Assistant Editor. John Allen Stevenson 

Poetry Editor , Pat McNellis 

Art Editor, Leigh Ablondi 

Uiyout Editor. Kathy Harward 

Poetry Committee 

Tom Lumsden 
Lynne Sturm 
Tim Westmoreland 
Donna Landry 
Susan Allison 
Bill Marquess 
Lee Lourdeaux 
Donald Slowik 
Ed Harrison 
Andree Tremoulet 
Andy Hicks 
Kittie White 

Prose Committee 

John Clovver 
Jim McIntosh 
Austin Triggs 
Bill Pauley 
Chuck Wheeler 
Sally Dawson 
Linda Walters 
Donna Landry 
Tim Westmoreland 
Barry Lee 
Libby Sejo 

Art and Layout Committee 

Alice Ammerman 
Tony Baker 
Alden Lancaster 
Andree Tremoulet 

table of contents 


Sam Atlce, Just the Whites of His Eyes .8 

Peter Trias, untitled .28 

Julian Chestny, Hunt .41 

Allen Jamison, Case Number 4 .62 


D. H. Madsen, Ode on a Cruet .1 

James K. B. Nashhold, Two Poems .6 

Stephen Selby, Martyr .7 

T. L. Anonymous, Hidden Art .24 

Lee Lourdeaux, Doing Summer in Father's House .25 

Wimpy, Two Poems .26 

Peter Burian, Two Poems .31 

Mike Ellsworth, Nostalgia Land .34 

James Dunbar, Revelation .37 

Jay McPherson Cheesman, A Translation .38 

Bill Marquess, The Singer .40 

John Stevenson, Four Poems .49 

Suzanne Austnit, “Close the door... ” .52 

J. B., Puerile Prufrock .54 

Pat McNellis, Self-Portrait .56 

Tim Westmoreland, The Pear Tree in August .57 

L. M., A Night in the Farmhouse .57 

Alfred Starr Hamilton, Pineapples .58 

James Dunbar, Where? .59 

Susan Tifft, London 1971 .60 

Sheila Rebecca Adams, Two Poems .61 

Ezra Stiles, Now We Are (Twenty-) Six: August 6, 1971 .74 

H.K., A Young Ballet. .75 

Andy Hicks, On Dali’s Crucifixion .76 

Donna Landry, Two Weeks After Fellini .77 

Tom House, The Last Night of the Decade .78 

Bill Marquess, Metaphor .79 

N. P. Gilliland, Wonders .79 

Graphic Art 

Winnie Hinson, print .cover 

Jane Berlin, Martha .5 

Corey Walker, gesture drawing .15 

Janice Duff, ink drawing .23 

Jane Berlin, drawing .27 

Steve Miller, print .33 

Helen Smith, charcoal drawing .44 

Farley Gibson, crayon drawing .55 

Corey Walker, gesture drawing .69 

Jane Berlin, Betsy .83 

Book Reviews.80 


Notes on Contributors.84 

Letter to the Editors.88 

James R.B. Nashhold 


the wind 

is a cold ache 

behind my cheekbones 

that arc fleshed into rose marble 

and like some ancient artisan 

he carves, reforms my face- 

he chisels caves for my eyes 
chills and smooths my bright cheek 
with his patient, flattened hands 
evens out the rough, warm stone-- 
he cries no mercy, this old craftsman 
he has time 
to freeze me into 
his archaic form. 


I ant trying to pry open your eyes 

with the hammer headed claw of these words. 

I’ll abandon my food 

for spitting more nails 

and even go deaf amidst this car ripping 

cloud of metal sawdust. 

But if my craft works you can 

pay happy 


die in this, your new room. 

But I am still working, working 
consumed by my blood blistered words 
in this unfinished room. 

Stephen Selby 


He was there 

destroying quiet moments 
his tongue on fire 
shouting most bitterly 
for the waves to part 
then turn upon his enemies. 

but we would not listen 
and he could not drown us in his conception 
of what our fates must be. 

and he walked away 
saying he was Ghandi 
but we knew there was more than a little 
Machievelli in him. 

Sam Atlee 



I bring the rig in around the propane tanks wide and easy and then back it up, 
pull on the air and shut off the engine. I see Cozzie’s door’s down and the lights 
are off, so I don’t have to worry about him coinin’ out to get me to go. 1 know 1 
gotta eat seein’ as 1 didn’t stop for breakfast after 1 left the market, and all I got 
was lunch in New Haven, but I’d rather go sleep than go on in up to the 
restaurant. Right away I see Monte ain’t around and his pick-up ain’t there, and 
the little green truck under the tree’s got the hack doors swung open again, like I 
told 'em not to do. 

I climb on out and lock the door, and unlock the garage door and go on 
through the water. When I get on into the office I turn on the light and sit down. 
There ain’t a single message there, and no slips, so I figure no boats been goin’ 
out and no fish been coinin’ in. I sit up and turn on the CB just to check. But 1 
can’t raise Ray or John, so I figure they’re all in, cause if they were out fishin’ 
they’d have the radio on for sure, so they don’t get too close in the dark. I pull 
out the slips from my pocket and try to figure out how much I’ll make on the 
load, seein’ as how the blues and squid are up some since Thursday. 

About half way through I lose track, wonderin’ if I should go on out to the 
hospital or not. I know if I go on up to the restaurant Mary’ll say somethin’ if 
she’s been this morning, or even if she ain’t. I just ain’t goin’ up there and have 
her badgerin’ at me. Now the old man probably won’t say a thing, unless she gets 
after him. 

I turn on the radio to try to get John once more and I don’t get a thing, so I 
go out of the office and through the cellar and up through Cozzie’s. At the top 
of the steps I open the door just a crack, and over the kid washin’ dishes I can 
see him just settin’ the knife down on the belly of a lobster fresh from the oven. 
I open up the door and come on around, makin’ sure neither Mary or the old 
man are there. 

“What you gonna do when you’re done?” I says to him. 

“I don’t know,” he says, lookin’ up, the sweat drippin’ down over his cheeks. 
I feel the heat from the oven coinin’ up against me, pressin’ me back like a wall. 

Sam At lee 


“I was goin’ to do some drinkin’,” I says, “maybe I’ll go on over to the Velvet 

“Allright, but I ain’t goona be out of here till nine.” 

So 1 tell him I’ll come back up at nine, and just as I turn around and get half 
way to the door I see Mary come in from the restaurant. 

“When’d you get back?” she says, her eyes starin’ hard at me. 

“Just now,” I say. 

“Well, you gonna go see Carmel? She’s been askin’ for you now. I went in 
today and took the television front....” 

“Yea, yea, I’ll go over later. I gotta get some sleep first.” 

“You can’t go in after visiting hours you know,” she says. “Why don’t you 
just eat here and go on over after?” 

“No, I ain’t hungry,” I says. “I gotta get some sleep.” 

I turn and start out through the door, and I hear her behind me, tellin’ me to 
make sure I go. I close the door, and as I’m goin’ down the steps I see Cozzie 
left the fish out again, sittin' on the cement floor with just some ice sprinkled 
on ’em, about a hundred flies hoppin’ and buzzin’ all around 'em. I swear to God 
that man don’t care any more if he makes money or not, leavin’ fish out on the 
floor now all the time to spoil. Its just like throwin’ out his own dollar hills. 1 go 
into the cooler, seein’ all the busted clams and scraps on the floor, and bring out 
a box of ice. I get an empty box, put a good six inches of ice on the bottom, lay 
the big bass in, curlin’ the tails till they lie flat, and throw another couple shovel 
fulls on top, coverin’ 'em smooth. Then I drag both boxes back in the cooler 
with the long hook and close the door. Even in there, where the cold air keeps 
pumpin’ in, it stinks. I know sure as hell if he don’t start cleanin’ up somebody’ll 
complain again, and they’ll come and shut him up. They give him three months 
to get it right the last time, or else they’ll close him down for havin’ an 
unsanitary place of business. So I grab the hose and turn it on, washin’ the scales 
and ice and blood down toward the drain, seein’ the flies spring up quick off the 
floor as the water hits near 'em. 1 get done with that and I go on out, makin’ 
sure I close the door tight behind me. 

When I get back in the office I hear the juke box playin’ loud upstairs. I look 
for the clock and find it under a couple of old bills. So I wind it up, settin’ it to 
the big Coca-Cola clock hangin’ on the wall, and set the alarm for a little before 
nine. I take a couple of the rubber cushions and a blanket and put 'em down on 
the floor makin’ a sort of bed, and take off my shoes and pants, foldin’ 'em up 
for a pillow. I turn off the light and lay down, pullin’ the blanket up over my 
legs. I still hear the juke box goin’ loud, the floor shakin’ over the office roof. 


All afternoon, like I was telling Kay, I’m sure the kid’ll bring hack everything, 
even for himself when he’s there to try it on, in the wrong size. But still its 
better sendin’ him in his car to New Bedford than for me to go in mine. But sure 
as hell he comes hack about six o’clock with the new shiny boots and the pants I 
wanted, and the cable and the baskets, and everything’s right, and he even got 
’em as cheap as he could and remembered to pay for 'em with the money I gave 
him. We tried 'em on in the pilot house and they fit, and I measured the cable 


The Archive 

with my pocket rule, and 1 couldn't hardly help but tell him I was proud of him 
for doin’ such a good job. Not that I got real nice or nothin’, out I told him he 
did a good job, cause you gotta tell him that sometime. But you can’t ever be 
too nice to any crew, no matter how much of a kid he is, cause if you get too 
nice he’ll turn around and do somethin’ stupid sure as hell, and leave you 
wonderin’ why he’s even on your goddamn boat in the first place. 

I tell him were not goin’ out tonight, but that he might just as well stay on 
board, seein’ as how we’ll paint tomorrow, or maybe go out tomorrow late if 1 
think the fishin’ll be worth it. There ain’t no way tonight that I’ll use up fuel 
and oil and my sleep time when I know I won’t get more than seventy pounds in 
three tows, so I tell him we’ll stay on board. I know Ray’s sendin’ all his boys 
home for the night seein’ as its Saturday, but I’ll keep the kid here. There ain’t 
nothin’ gonna make me let them or some other fellas get him drunked up and 
send him home, and have him call me or his Ma when he gets lost, though he run 
that road to Matapoisset a thousand times and ought to know where he lives by 
now. Just so to keep him out of trouble and be ready for the morning I tell him 
to stay, and he don’t argue none, not that he ever does, or that I’d take the 
bac ktalk. 


I knew somethin’ was up soon as he sneaks up the stairs, makin’ sure 
nobody’s around to see him. And then he comes up, lookin’ tired and not like he 
knows what to do. I guess I know why he’d rather go on in town to the Velvet 
Hammer than stay next door, even though the Swamp Fox ain’t bad, but it 
don’t pay for me to interfere in nobody’s family business, so I just keep my 
mouth shut. 

I figure it’s lucky I brought in a good shirt and took a bath before I come in. 
Now if Cookie’d called me 1 wouldn’t be worryin’ about Tommy or where he 
wants to go, and I could just change and walk right next door to sit down at my 
seat and have my beer. But seein’ that he ain’t called me I might just as well go 
on out with Timmy. And seein’ as I’ll be with him my luck’s gotta get better, as 
they’ll all sure as hell look at me before they take a look at him. 

When I get finished takin’ the hot pans on over to the kid at the machine and 
clean off the cuttin’ board and the table, he comes on up the steps with no shoes 
on, his eyes all twisted up still with sleep. 

“Ready to go?” he says. 

“Just a minute,” I say, “I’ll meet you downstairs.” 

So he turns and goes on back down the steps, grabbin’ a roll off of one of the 
dirty plates as he goes past the sink. Once I get everything all cleared away I tell 
the kid to finish up quick, and get my fresh shirt and go on out the swingin’ 
door to the restaurant. Cozzie’s sittin’ in the back in the dark, drinkin’ a beer, 
and Mary’s just lockin’ up the front door. I stop at the counter cause I can see 
through the front window Joanie just gettin’ into her car, and as she climbs on in 
I see the top part of her leg and her white underwear as the uniform goes up, and 
then she pulls the dress down again and closes the door, so I can’t see a thing. Its 
just like her to be the last one out, seein’ as how all the other girls are probably 

Sam At lee 


all home already. Maybe she figures she’ll get some big raise for stayin’ late, 
cause I know she don’t know Cozzie or Mary or one of ’em yet. 

I go on by Cozzie and go into the bathroom. I wash my face and hands and 
put on the shirt, then comb my hair back neat and slick with the comb. When I 
come out again Mary stops me just as I’m goin' into the kitchen. 

“Where you goin’ so dressed up?” she says. 

“In town,” I say, “maybe into the Velvet Hammer.” 

“What’s the matter with next door,” she says, “ain’t that good enough for 
you? We close a nice restaurant down over there and pay a high price to fix it up 
and rent it out, and now you won’t even use it. We was figurin’ that at least our 
own help might make it worth it. We gotta get our money out of it you know.” 

“I know Mary, but I’m going’ to meet Cookie Snyder down at the Velvet 
Hammer soon after nine as I can,” I say. “That’s why I ain’t goin’ to the Fox.” 

“The Fox is it, huh? Well, go ahead. But you make sure you don’t take 
Tommy along with you. Go ahead. Good night.” 

So 1 go on out the door, figurin’ what I told her’ll keep her quiet, wonderin’ 
how in hell a woman her age can still treat a full grown man like a little kid. And 
the old man don’t say a thing when she’s around. Even Tommy for Christ’s sake, 
her own daughter’s husband, even him she treats like a kid. And seein’ as how he 
took over old Cozzie’s fish shippin’ business for him, you’d think they’d at least 
treat him nice. But not them, no sir. 

I tell the kid to hurry and finish up, and say good night. Down the stairs its 
dark as hell and I hit my head on the rafters, but I get to the door and open it 
up. Soon as I do I hear the noise from upstairs boomin’ and shakin’ the whole 
building. When 1 get on out I see from the light in what he calls his office all the 
water on the floor. How in hell somebody can run a business like that I’ll never 
know. Inside a basement littered with junk, old tires and chairs and coolers, he 
puts up a little metal shed on concrete blocks and puts a rubber carpet on the 
floor and calls it his office. Just so he can be away from Mary and the old man, 1 
figure. Jesus. 

I walk on over the cardboard and the pallets, and when I stick my head in I 
see him sittin’ there tryin’ to comb his hair back with a little pocket mirror and 

"Ready?” I ask him. 

“Yea, yea. Just a minute,” he says, tryin’ to keep the hair off his forehead, 
pastin’ it back so he looks stupid as hell. 

I go on out to get the car to bring it around and pick him up. Because I 
wanna be in my car if I find anything, cause then I can get rid of him and make 
sure I have a good time. Then I can just put him off here and go on over to her 
place, or a motel. 


How that boy ever expects his wife to get better when he won’t even go and 
see her I don’t know. I took her the television set and that’s all 1 can do, cause 
I’m no doctor and I got a restaurant to run. Its hard enough as it is gettin’ away 
from here even for five minutes, let alone for an hour. A whole day seems more 


The Archive 

like what she wants. Buy lavin’ there in the bed, her eyes all funny and her face 
all pale and thin, tellin’ me again and again how she don’t feel right, how she 
feels sick but her body don’t feel sick, tryin’ to grab at my hand every second so 
I can’t even sec the picture on the television set 1 just carried up in the elevator, I 
don’t know what to do. And the doctors just keep her in there, givin’ her pills 
and tellin’ me she’s gettin’ better, when I know for sure she still ain’t right. 

When she come up into the restaurant that day three months ago and just 
stood there in front of the door, holdin’ her bag and lookin’ funny, and tellin’ 
me she don’t feel right, I see something gone wrong. Cause when I asked her 
what’s wrong and where it hurts her she just keeps sayin' she don’t feel right, 
like she never heard a word I said. When I finally got her to sit down it didn’t do 
any good, she just keep starin’, not lookin’ at anything, sayin’ she felt sick. So 
three months later she’s still in the hospital and no better, though the doctors 
say it’s nerves, or some kind of nervous breakdown, though I know for sure she 
ain’t gettin’ any better. And when they decide to let her go home for a night 
with her husband that don’t do any good either. I see he don’t know any better 
than I do how to take care of her and get her well, and God knows how hard it 
is. Her hand all clammy and nervous, tryin’ all the time to hold your own when 
you can see she ain’t right, her eyes funny and her sayin’ how she’s confused, 
how she feels funny inside, well I don’t know what to do. You can’t even talk to 
the girl and make any sense out of her anymore. 

But 1 still don’t see why that boy don’t try a little, even if he does have his 
own business to run and don’t have much time. But 1 don’t like him gettin’ 
mixed up with the likes of Jimmy, cause a business man has no sense in him if he 
hangs around with some secondrate cook that takes himself for a king. I seen 
they probably went out together tonight, but there’s nothin’ I can do but warn 
him of it. Cause drinkin’ or hangin’ around with a boy like that won’t do any 
man any good. He ought at least go see his wife’s what I think, though I know he 
won’t listen to me. 


Soon as we come in from out back I sit down at the bar and order a sandwich 
and a beer. He sits down on the stool next to me and orders one, lookin’ all 
around with those big eyes he’s got. He’s rolled up the one sleeve on his shirt to 
show his mermaid tatoo, proud as hell he was a cook in the Navy. We both look 
around to case the place, and we see plenty of girls sittin’ around, but none of 
'em there by themselves. 

“Christ,” he says, turnin’ to look at me, hanging’ over the bar, “there ain’t a 

“Wait,” I say, “this place never lets go till after ten.” 

So he turns on back and starts drinkin’, his big eyes still movin’ all around 
over the edge of the glass as he swallows it down quick and cool. 

Sam At lee 



The leader told me I should talk more in the group. She said its the only way 
it helps. But when she comes and watches the television and laughs I talk to her 
and she doesn’t like it, I know. I don’t understand the television. Its not funny, 
so why does she laugh? How can I talk to them and not to her, about the 
problems? He told me I should talk it all out. But she doesn’t talk to me because 
I’m sick. 

He could have called, but maybe he isn’t back yet. He said two days when he 
left. But when will he come? When the doctor comes to see me tomorrow I’ll ask 
him if I can go home again, and I’ll ride to New York with him in the truck. The 
doctor asked me what I did at home. Your husband is a very busy man he said, 
he works all the time, doesn’t he? He’s right. But he could have called. 

It’s nearly time for me to sleep again. They’ll give me the pill with some 
water, and I’ll lie back and close my eyes and pretend I’m asleep. After I sleep 
I'll wake up to the stillness of the room and the dark, and I’ll think I am not 
sick, I am well, and I’ll clo^ my eyes when the slat opens and turns yellow, and 
I’ll know the hand on the door and the eyes’ll be watching me. When they’re 
gone I’ll open my eyes and see the slat gone. Sometimes I hear them talking at 
the desk. There are two of them at night, but it is only one that makes the slat 
with the door when she looks. 

I like my room in the dark. I like to pull the sheets up to my neck, or over 
my mouth. Once they couldn’t see me and they pulled it back and left. Here I 
am well. But when’ll he come? I am not sick, I’m well. Soon I’ll go home. 


Its just like he likes to get me mad. I figured you could never trust 'em, even 
in talkin’. So I don’t answer ’em, like I never heard a word out of his stupid 
mouth. If I could see his face turned toward me I could see his laugh, his fun at 
inakin’ me mad. No I have not seen Slim, I should have said that and not let him 
know how he rides me. So I just lift up the glass and take a good swallow, like I 
never heard ’em. 

I see how he must be laughin’, the son of a bitch. I know he said it just to ride 
me, knowin’ what he does. It ain’t that I think of Slim all the time or nothin’, 
but it does grate on me to be taken that way, knowin’ he’s doin’ it just to ride 
me. Scein’ as how I did that fuckin’ guy a pretty good turn, givin’ him work 
after his boat went down in the middle of the harbor, and the signin’ his 
banknote so he can get another boat in the water. The son of a bitch. So I talked 
it over with Co/.zie, and he knows I been cuttin them all on their prices, tellin’ 
them all the time that New York is payin’ at least five cents less than I know 
they arc for fish, just like he did when he ran the business, and he tells me its all 
in my interest to keep Slim fish in , secin’ as how I’m makin’ so much off of the 
fish I buy from him and sell to New York. So I sign it and Cozzie signs it, and 
tuckin’ Slim skips town. Goes out one day on his new boat and don't come 
back. I wo weeks later Ray tells me he’s in Florida fishin’ for shrimp, with a 
goddamn boat I’m still payin’ the bank two hundred dollars a month for. But 


The A rchive 

goddamn if I don’t get ‘em. Sooner or later, even if 1 gotta go down there 
myself, I’ll get the money. I’m tired of payin’ for nothin’, and I can’t hardly pay 
the bank anymore with the goddamn hospital hills. But what I was doin’ to Slim 
I been doin’ to all the others as well, cause you can’t trust 'em, and I gotta make 
a livin’. And its a way of gettin’ even, though I never saw it that way in business 
till now, when I been doin’ it all along. 

He hits me on the elbow hard, tryin’ to get me to look over to the door. 
Some broad comes in with ‘em hanging’ down around her belly, great big and 
stickin’ out so’s there ain’t much left to guess. She’s on the arm of some little 
guy dressed like he’s queer as heli. He keeps ogglin’ at her, watchin’ her the 
whole way to her seat, turnin’ on his stool and twistin’ his head all around so he 
can see everythin’ she got hangin’ out. 

Goddamn if I don’t belt him before the night’s through. Cause I know what 
he said he said just to rile me, and I don’t like nobody hittin’ me on the arm. 
The son of a bitch, laughin’ like he was. 

There ain’t one of ‘em knows any better to know about the prices. Just the 
only thing gets me is what Monte says. He says I showed Manny my price book 
by mistake when I was givin’ him his slips, not that I believe ‘em. It ain’t that 
Manny’d know what the prices meant, or what days they was for, but I don’t 
like takin’ a chance like that. But if he saw somethin’ he’d a said somethin’ for 
sure, cause they can’t keep their mouths shut. So I figure its just like its always 
been, nobody seein’ or savin’ nothin’ about somethin’ they don’t know nothin’ 
about. Their lucky I give ‘em what I do. 


How he can sit there and talk to nobody but himself I don’t know. Just 
drownin’ all his sorrows, drinkin’. And you can’t do nothin’ but make ‘em mad. 
If he can’t keep that woman happy I don’t know why he’d be blamin’ himself, 
cause the way I see it its nothin’ but a big pity party, everybody supposed to feel 
sorry for her. Just one big pity party. And all the beautiful women here, Jesus. 

I never seen anybody who don’t notice when somethin’ like that blonde 
comes in hangin’ onto that little dude’s arm. But Jesus, the jugs she had. 1 
thought I’d go right off the stool tryin’ to see those things. Christ, and the look 
she gave me. What I could do with her, Jesus! 


There ain’t a time I see ‘em he don’t grate on me with somethin’. Sittin’ there 
like he owns the place. It ain’t so much me worry in’ about Manny and them 
knowin’, cause I know they don’t. I don’t think about that none unless I’m 
provoked. But he does grate on me, the dumb son of a bitch. I can just see that 
goddamn laugh. 

There ain’t no way John and Ray and them couldn’t help but remember what 
I done. Cause that day me and Monte are out there greasin’ the Astro behind the 
office last week and this car pulls up with some kind of government writin’ on 
the door, I knew something’ was up. Right away Cozzie’s out there makin’ 
friends, tryin’ to keep ‘em out of the cellar and the cooler, cause he knows 

Sam Atlee 


they’ll close 'em down if they see it. 

He’s talkin’ on for maybe fifteen minutes, me and Monte mindin’ our own 
business and goin’ over the truck, when I hear him start yellin’. No tellin’ what it 
might be, so I go on over, and he’s yellin’ about how swordfish can’t hurt ya, I 
been eatin’ it for years, no there ain’t no mercury in it, on and on, yellin’ like 
hell at ‘em so they can’t get a word in, swingin’ the cuttin’ knife all around, the 
dry scales poppin’ off his shirt and arms with all the commotion. Then I hear 
this government guy ask ‘em if there’s any swordfish around that people been 
tryin’ to sell without government okay. Right away I walk back real slow and 
pick up a rag and start wipin’ down the truck. But I go on around to the side 
where they can’t see me, and get in my car and go on out real slow and down to 
the docks. Cause I know for sure Ray’s got over a hundred swordfish in his hold 
right now, weighed and marked and ready to sell to some guy in Boston, cause I 
won’t have nothin’ to do with somethin’ like that. I got a respectable business 
and a family, and I can’t go buyin’ illegal fish and get caught with ‘em when I try 
and sell ‘em. 

When I get to the dock I tell Ray to get the hell out of town with the boat, 
figurin’ these government guys’ll be down any minute to snoop around. So he 


The Archive 

>'i)cs out right away, thankin’ me like hell. 

1 know how much they talk, 1 know they talk on prices and how much fish 
they got each tow, so 1 know the good turn I did him’ll get around. And it’ll just 
make it better for me. So 1 figure I got nothin’ to worry about, cause if what 
Monte'd said was true they sure as hell woulda talked to me. But now its them 
thats got the debt to pay me. Monte don’t know nothin’ anyway, cause he’s just 
a fuckin’ driver. He don’t run no business. No matter what they know Ray’ll 
keep 'em quiet, and tell 'em it might just as well been them as him I done the 
good turn to. 


These two young ones come on in and sit at the bar next to me, and things 
start lookin’ pretty good. He’s just sittin’ there drinkin’, not sayin’ a thing. 

I nearly gotta shake 'em to get 'em to look over, tryin’ to introduce 'em, 
seein’ as how 1 already got their names and cased 'em out soon as they sit down 
beside me. And when he looks over I figure at worst I’ll get the best lookin’ one, 
the one with the blonde hair done up nice on top. Cause his eyes are all sorta 
bangin' out and his mouth’s open when he talks, showin’ his teeth. 

I know one thing no nice girl likes in a man’s bad teeth. And when Tommy 
opens up anti talks, you can see all his brown, about an inch between each one 
of ‘em. I see the one girl sorta notice it and make a face. Seein’ as how I got my 
good shirt on and he ain’t in nothin’ but work clothes, I figure I got it made, 
cause I’m all set for just this kind of thing. 


When I see what 1 got I figure I won’t draw none, just to scare him off. He 
looks across the table at me and then throws down three, and deals off three 
more for himself. I give him a minute to figure out what he’s got, though I know 
he wouldn’t know any better if I waited till tomorrow, or even if I tell him 
myself what kind a hand he’s got. 

‘T il go twenty-five,” I say, cause I don’t want to scare him off too much. I 
put the quarter in the middle of the table, and he looks across again. 

“Up you a quarter,” he says, layin’ two more beside my one. 

“Well, well,” I say. I figure if I take long enough he’ll be sure he’ll win. I sorta 
reach my hand out and then bring it back, pick up two quarters and lay ‘em 
beside the three on the table, real slow. 

“I’ll call you for a quarter,” I say. 

He looks all puzzled, looks over at me again, and then his eyes sorta light up, 
cause he figures I’m bluffin’ again. 

“Allright,” he says, layin’ another quarter atop of mine. “I’ll call you.” 

I lay ‘em down right away and reach out my hand for the quarters. 

“Wait,” he says, “what you got there?” 

“Two jacks,” I say. 

"Oh,” he says, and I scoop the money back next to the edge of the table. 

"You sure?” he says, puzzled as hell. 

“Look here,” I say, “two jacks. Count 'em up.” 

Sam Atlec 


I know if I said 1 had five jacks he wouldn’t argue, and he wouldn’t know well 
enough to call me out. I swear to God if I had a pair of twos I’d beat ’em no 
matter what he had, cause he still don’t know well enough how to figure what 
he’s got even when he’s got a good hand. 

“Deal ’em out again,” he says. 


So when I ask ’em if they wanna go someplace, right away the one with 
the dark hair suggests her place. Jesus, I know I got it made now. This blonde 
she keeps hangin’ on me, askin’ me about Korea and the Navy. I know that’s one 
thing any broad’ll like. 

He starts gettin’ all worked up, this fat one with the dark hair givin’ him the 
eye. My girl stands up and says they better go to the bathroom first, so they’ll 
both meet us out at the car. They go on away from the bar over through the 
crowd so I can’t see neither of ’em. 

I try and get him up, havin’ a pretty rough time of it, but I finally get him 
through all the crowd and over to the register, and we pay. I figure we bought 
’em about four drinks already, but him and me split it. And I figure its worth it, 
seein’ as it looks like we’re sure to get somethin’ for bein’ so nice. 

1 get him on over to the door and we go out and on back along the alley to 
the parkin’ lot, and just as we get there I see this car pullin’ off, the blonde 
smilin’ out the window and wavin’ at us from the front seat. 

“God damn son of a bitch,” I say, seein’ the car goin’ out faster than hell. 

“Shit,” he says, “shit. Those fuckin’ cunts. Shit.” 

I start goin’ to the car when he yells at me, stumblin’ over to the other car. 

“Chase ’em,” he says, “we’ll chase them fuckin’ cunts and make ’em pay. 
Come on.” 

So we get in and I can’t find the keys, and when 1 do find ’em I start it up 
and pull on out. I go on out the same way I seen ’em go, knowin’ now we got 
took for what we got and then dumped. 

“Son of a bitch,” I say. 


Stupid fuckin’ Jimmy, goddamn stupid fuckin’ shit. Goddamn cunts, I can 
see 'em laughin’. 

“Goddamn it,” I say, “you goddamn stupid fuckin’ shit. You ain’t gonna find 
’em. Why the hell don’t you know where you carry your own goddamn keys?" 

He don’t say nothin’ at all. 

“You stupid cunt,” I sam to 'em. “You ain’t gonna find ’em.” 

He ain’t goddamn smart enough to ask ’em where they live, goddamn stupid 
shit. He just keeps drivin’, headin’ down outa town. 

We get down thereand some young cunt’s walkin’along the sidewalk, nobody 
else around. I figure she’s one of them town kids hangin’ around here weekend 
nights. You can’t see nobody else on either side of the street. 

“Jesus Christ,” I say, “pull the goddamn car over so’s I can talk to her, you 
stupid shit.’’ 


The Archive 


“Want a ride?" he says, leanin’ out the window. 

1 can see her lookin’ in at the both of us, her hair hangin’ down real long on 
either side of her face. She don’t look no more than nineteen at most. Before I 
can say somethin’ she walks away from the car and down the sidewalk behind 

“Goddamn it,” he says, “God damn. Back the fuckin’ car up.” 

So I do like he says and pull back just to where she’s walkin’, and he leans his 
head out again. 

“Want a ride?” he says, kinda quick and mean. 

1 see she don’t pay any attention, but just keeps walkin’ right down the 
sidewalk, kinda fast. 

He starts yellin’ at me again, and just as I’m goin’ to back up to her I see a car 
pull up maybe thirty feet behind us, and she runs over and gets in. 

“Fuckin’ cunt,” he says. “Goddamn fuckin’ cunt.” 

I see his hand go out and hit like hell on the dashboard, and he starts 
screamin’ at me again. 

I pull up to the red light, and when I stop this other car comes up beside us, 
on his side. I look over and see its a whole goddamn car full of niggers, this one 
white bitch sittin’ in the back seat with two or three of ’em, lookin’ over at us. 

‘‘Jesus Christ,” I say, “that goddamn little bitch.” 

“God damn,” he says, hittin’ the dashboard. 


I know he sees me lookin’ at him. I just wait for 'em to start somethin’, them 
laughin’ in there. 

He rolls down his window and looks over real calm, and real nice like he says, 
“You gotta problem, buddy?” 

Goddamn fuckin’ nigger, smart as hell. And that little cunt sittin’ there talkin’ 
with the niggers in the back. Fuckin’ cunt. 

“No boy,” I says, “I ain’t got no problem. You gotta problem, boy?” 

I know like hell no nigger likes bein’ called boy. Right away I see 'em get mad 
and start cussin’ me real low, and all his buddies hangin’ over the seat lookin’ at 
me, mad as hell. Stupid fuckin’ niggers. 

Jimmy starts movin’ as the light changes, so I yell at ‘em to follow ‘em. He 
got no guts, not even with some goddamn niggers. 

They pull into this empty lot and he follows ‘em in, just like I told him to. 


I see three of ‘em get out the front seat and one of‘em out the back, one of 
‘em stayin’ in there with the little white bitch. They stand there lookin’ at us 
mean as hell. One of ‘em walks around to the other side of us, so’s he’ll be 
behind us when we get out. 

“What you got in here?” Tommy says. 

“What you mean?” I ask ‘em. 

Sam At let’ 


“You got your goddamn jack, don’t you? Don’t you got any tools in here 
goddamn it?” 

“Christ,” I say, “I got my toolbox.” 

“Well, what you waitin’ for, you stupid cunt?” 

“Christ, Tommy, what you wanna do? I ain’t gettin’ in no fight with no 
niggers over that little nigger-lovin’ white bitch.” 

“You just gonna let them niggers take that white cunt, are you? You must be 
a fuckin’ nigger-lover yourself.” 

He turns in the seat and leans over, and I hear by the sound of the latch he’s 
got the box. He scrambles around in there and then brings his arm up, and I see 
he’s got the hammer. 

“Come on,” he says, “you get the fuckin' jack.” 

He opens up the door and gets out, goin’ over real slow toward ’em. 

I get the keys and get out and go round and open up the trunk, and get the 
jack that’s layin’ in there, like he told me to do. I carry it over, it hangin’ long 
near the ground. He’s standin’ there in front of ’em, holdin’ up the hammer, 
callin 'em niggers, dumb fuckin’ niggers, shakin’ the hammer at 'em. 

“Jesus Christ, Tommy, you stupid....” 

“Shut up, nigger-lover,” he says. “Come on boys, come on. Looks like you 
was lookin’ for this, so what’s the matter now? You niggers ain’t takin no white 
cunt from a white man.” 

They all sort of back off. The little white cunt in the car’s scared as hell, 
yellin’ at 'em to get in the car and leave. 

He starts walkin’ closer, shakin’ the hammer. 

“Jesus Christ, Tommy,” I say, “come on.” 

He don’t turn. But real sudden they all jerk round and run back and get into 
the car, closin’ the doors fast as hell and startin’ up the engine. Tommy runs up 
and hits the back of the trunk just as they jerk away, smashin’ a big dent. 

“Fuckin’ nigger chickens,” he yells at ’em, “you fuckin’ nigger chickens.” 

The car wheels across to the other side of the lot and then out. All of a 
sudden I see somebody runnin’ after it. It’s the other nigger come up from where 
he was standin’ way behind us. 

“Come on'” Tommy yells at me, “come on you nigger-lover.” 


I couldn’t hardly stand seein’ that poor kid keep losin’, not knowin’ why and 
not even knowin’ what he got in his hand, so after about an hour of it he ain’t 
won once, so I give him his money back. Now some man might say I’m a fool, 
but I can’t see takin’ what I won when the poor stupid kid don’t even know yet 
how the game goes. That’s no game, and any man thinks it is oughta learn 
somethin’ himself. 

The kid still don’t properly see what I give him the money back for, and 
when I tell him why he don’t think it’s right, but I tell him I ain’t takin’ it and 
better keep it all, cause he’ll be needin’ it when we play a real game. He seemed 
to see somethin’ in that, so he don’t try to argue no more. I tell him to go to 


The Archive 

bed, and I figure I'll be lucky if he don’t screw that up. 

You’d think he’d a learned by now when lie’s got a good hand, but he still 
don’t see how a two ain’t as good as two twos, or how in hell you get a straight 
outa five cards. Now maybe if I did take all the money he’d learn real quick, but 
I don’t think that’d be right to work it like that. 

Before the kid climbs up onto the bunk he goes on out and checks to see 
we’re all tied up right, though I know we’re held in fast. He sure can’t learn 
playin’ cards, but at least lie checks the lines, even when anybody that had any 
sense’d know they’ll hold. 

I don’t say a thing to the kid about what I know, cause he won’t understand 
and I don’t like talkin’ business like that with nobody, cause it does no good. I 
know well enough lie’ll be back from New York and I can see him tomorrow. 
Won’t he be surprised when I tell him he ain’t buyin’ no more of my fish, you 
bet he will. It ain’t much, but its the best I can do to get even. And I can’t say 1 
feel sorry at all, even seein’ what he done for Ray last week. But I got my livin’ 
to make, and from what Manny says its been like he’s just takin’ the money 
from your own pocket, takin’ the blood right out of you. No matter what good 
he done it don’t matter, not in this. 

When I lay down I hear the kid still awake, and I know he feels us movin’ up 
and down, up and down on the tide, like I did when I first got my legs. But he’ll 
learn, and someday he won’t notice it nor even hear the water, like you get after 


Tommy run on in right at 'em, gettin’em in the corner there at the bushes so 
he can’t get out. He just keeps walkin’ on in, backin’ the nigger into the corner 
of the lot. 

I walk on up real fast, still lioldin’ the jack. 

“Christ, Tommy,” I say. 

“Shut up, nigger-lover,” he says. 

The nigger’s got his hands out in front of 'em, tryin’ to keep Tommy back, 
tryin' to keep from gettin’ backed up right against the bushes and the walls. 

“Come on, man,” he says, his voice shakin’ and whinin’. “Come on, I ain’t 
done nothin’ to you. Come on man.” 

Tommy just keeps walkin’ in real slow, the hammer still held up in the air. 

Next thing I know the nigger tries to run up along the wall past 'em, right at 
me. My arm sorta brings the jack up from the ground, but before he gets to me 
real sudden Tommy swings out and catches 'em solid on the side of the head. He 
just sorta slumps down in front of me. 

“Jesus Christ, Tommy. Jesus Christ. What the hell you do that for?” 

He don’t say nothin’. 

I bend over seein’ the blood on his neck, seein’ he ain’t movin’. 

Jesus Christ. Holy Jesus Christ. 

Sam A tlee 



Just like fuckin’ niggers to leave one of their own behind. Just like a fuckin’ 

“Get the ear,” I say. 

1 stand, lookin’ down. 1 hear the car start and he brings it up real close. He 
gets out and opens the back door, and we pick up the nigger and get 'em into the 
back seat on the floor. 

I close the door. 

Just like fuckin’ niggers, tryin’ to get a white girl. 


I try to count the days. To add them, while I wait in the dark. How many 
days they give me the same pill at the same time, and how many days 1 wake up 
later, how 1 wait in the dark. In my room in the dark I am well. I am not sick. 
This way I do not feel sick. When they come in it is just a yellow slat and her 
head stuck in the door. 1 have seen it. I close my eyes. I feel her eyes and the 
light both laying heavy across my cheeks. Then it is dark again. I open my eyes. 

She does not watch television. Then why did she laugh? She laughs and her 
hands move. They are not close to mine. He will come. Tomorrow he will come 
and I will go home. Why did they not let me stay at home? He slept. Why did he 
not sleep in the bed? Why did he sleep on the toilet? I saw him. Why did I feel 

Here in my room I am well. Always in the dark when the slat goes I am well. 
Here I am never sick. 


I see it’s all quiet, not a light on in any of the boats. I tell him to stay put, but 
he don’t want to. So I tell 'em to shut up, grabbin’ his arm hard, and he stays 

I go up to the Rosalie R. I go on board and knock on the door of the pilot 
house, but as soon as I try the door I know he ain’t there. 

I get down and climb on over the pilings to John’s boat, and knock real quiet 
on the door. I don’t hear nothin’ so I open it up. There he and the kid are 
asleep in the bunks. So I get ‘em up and telPem what he’s gotta do, but John 
don’t want no part of it. But finally he give in to me. The kid just sits there not 
sayin’ a thing, and won’t come out of the cabin till John tells ‘em to. 

I go on up and get Jimmy to help me get ‘em out, and 1 know he ain’t moved 
and he ain’t breathin', so I figure I done the right thing bringin’em down here. 
We get ‘em on board, the three of us with the kid just standin’ by. I tell him to 
cover ‘em up with the tarp. I see, just before the kid throws the tarp over, with 
Jimmy pullin’ at my arm to go till I push ‘em off, just the whites of the nigger’s 
eyes and his teeth showin’ in the dark. Its the only part of ‘em you can really 
notice, and when the kid throws the tarp, you can’t see nothin’. 

The Archive 


Jesus Christ. He tells this guy to go way the hell out and drop 'em off. He 
tells 'em he'll pay 'em like hell to do it. He don’t seem any too anxious to do it, 
hut he finally says allright, like he’s got some debt to pay or somethin’. But 1 
know he still don’t like it one bit. 

I go get in the car and start it up, lookin’ around to make sure nobody sees 
me. He throws off both the lines from the deck, them jumps off the boat and 
runs over slow. Just as he gets in I hear the engine on the boat start up with a 
jump. I pull out quick as hell, and he hits me across the arm, yellin’ at me to go 
slow, like I ain’t in no hurry. 

Just before we get up into the house he says he can see ‘em pullin’ out, 
already half way into the harbor. 


He drops me off at the office door and then pulls off real slow, not sayin’ a 
thing. I go on into the office, knowin’ John’s doin’ what I say. 

I set the clock for six and wind it up some more, so’s I can check and make 
sure he done everythin’ all right in the morning. When I lay down I have to get 
up to turn off the light, and I take off my pants and shoes, and 1 see there’s 
blood on one shoe, so I wipe it off on the rug and lay back down. 1 swear I still 
see that nigger’s face, lookin’ up dumb and motionless, and I know 1 seen it 
before. 1 keep tryin’ to sleep, but I can’t. 

Then I rememberer seein’ a nigger in a fun house on the Boardwalk, in one of 
them rooms where just the white shows on you because of some kind of light, 
and I can see clear as anythin’ that nigger in that room, just his teeth and his 
eyes and the white cuffs on his shirt showin’ in the dark. So I seen right away 
what that dumb nigger layin’ so stupid on the deck struck me so funny, and then 
I close my eyes. 


When I see that guy’s car go on behind Baxter’s and the Wharton’s place so I 
can’t see their lights anymore, I cut off the engine and just sit quiet, waitin’ to 
see if they come back. The kid can’t figure what I’m up to, and I hear him 
movin’ around behind the pilot house, scufflin’ his feet, but I just stay quiet and 
wait. After a couple a minutes I ain’t seen a thing, and we’re driftin’ in with the 
tide too close to shore, so I start ‘er up again and come on about, headin’ right 
back into the slip. 

I hear the kid come on around the pilot house, and though I told him to keep 
his mouth shut and ask no questions, I’m surprised he kept his mouth shut so 
long, seein’ as what we got on board ain’t fish. 

“What’re you doin’?” he says, scared as hell. 

“We’re just goin’ back in,” I says. 

“What ya mean?” he says. 

“We’re just goin’ back in.” 

Sam Atlee 


“What for?” he says. 

“You seen that poor nigger back there?” 

“Yea, but he, you know what he done for Ray.” 
“I know,” I says, “I know.” 

“What you doin’ goin’ in then?” 

“I gotta make a phone call,” I says. 

T.L. Anonymous 


There are those who feign the world’s unity, 
say that saints are only by decree. 

Moderns, in the market’s cryptic trade, 

Countrymen in allusions, disdaining to judge, 
in estrangements ask: was white-clad 
Emily Dickinson at least saintly, or 
a penitent come again, sequestered to wander 
corridors, her retreat, visions from rainbow glass, 
a mendicant’s domain. Lean times in the silent life, 
silent, like the stones in a cloister. 

Nocturnal gardener of allegorical flowers, 
guilty of arranging teacups (though cosmically) 
and verse, the tarnished relics of another season. 
Alone in the cubicles of examined conscience, 
no formal votary, a pilgrim without a shrine, 
the sacrifice without a trial: thrown to Amherst lions, 
dubbed as hermetic, condemned to inner burnings, 
and, with emanations dying to her 
“halfcracked,” she wrote, life, 

She claimed to be nobody. But who was she, 
like a shadow seeking secluded corners? 

A wit: the declamation of Euclid, her clock. 

For her requiem’s buzzing messenger, the fly. 

A coffin, a room were her security, 
with the breviary of measured drones, 
cathedral tunes cautioning, in hymnal cadences, 
an affected civility, even from those calvaries. 

With certain pauses and thorn-encrusted truths, 

carefully crafting patterned lines 

(her punctuated and self-imposed sentences) 

while lightning thoughts informed their symmetry, 

the fading enigma balanced words, 

the tensions of ecstasy and hate, 

too sententiously, perhaps, for the starry game. 

Encompassed moon around her soul, 

the dance maker, half bound to the Center, 

just a door apart; yet, with that Chamber, 

immediate in her austerity, arrested on the stairs, 

her shadow world with broken lights, but in 

complexity of standards, her chosen elements. 


What should I do 

with paper napkins 

folded and maybe clean, 

with gravy fatty and cold 

for a week in a cup 

the handle chipped not enough 

to throw away? 

Instead of moo moo milk 
I rinse the cardboard carton 
to throw away for certain 
but not in the box of cans 
with bad non-aluminum bottoms; 
tucked in the garage 
behind a mound of left shoes 
the cans conspire with a car 

that drip drips pennies of oil. L ee LourdeaUX 


Giving up on food and money and flight 

1 turn to a plastic wading pool 

away from house and jangle hurried phone; 

so steeped in soothing cooling water 

I finger “Freud” on the bottom- 

a guileless stir of fungi 

that’s got to be syphoned tomorrow . . . 

Because I can do nothing new 
in a childhood home 
of carpets worn the same, 
it’s all right for awhile 

to just realign younger smiles long framed 
or scrub every crusted pan until 
the dish runs away with the spoon. 




I’ve tried to follow Jesus, but in the blowing grass 
My bare feet always pick up little bits of broken glass. 
My Savior doesn’t hear me when 1 sing out my blues. 
Christ just keeps on walking. 

He’s wearing tennis shoes. 


Dark mother and dark child 
Unsmiling sat-- 
A mind flashing, slashing: 

A young hand leaving a mad trail 
of black on white. 

Opposite me they sat- 

Kefusing my gaze and the blue words 

I wrote, but did not know. 


Peter Trias 

During one summer we went for a few days to Tinos, well known for its 
church to Panagea and especially for its icon from which an entire tradition 
sprung. As legend had it, three men were digging under a tree when their shovel 
hit something hard. They pulled two objects from the earth—two halves of an 
icon, which when placed together, fused. At that moment a spring eased up from 
the earth: fresh water. The sight was consecrated, a church was built. The water 
still flowed and it was holy. 

Over the years various miracles were attributed to Panagea through this 
church, so that within the buildings were strung gold and silver trinkets, 
emblems of a single moment. If a peasant fisherman had hard luck and praying 
to Panagea was suddenly blessed with an overabudance, he would then place a 
gold fish within the church. My maternal grandfather gave a gold hand. 

We had left Piraeus mid-August when the sea was especially rough; and there 
was a general sickness, a ship filled with ghostly faces. I spent most of the 
journey in bed, barely able to lift myself. As I tried to sleep, Alex, my 
roommate, placed an icon on his bed, knelt before it, and prayed. Embarrassed 
by his piety, I did all I could to pretend that it wasn’t happening. He sensed my 
awkwardness and told me I shouldn’t feel that way about prayer. He said he left 
his glasses in Athens, that when we reached the island he’d have his eyes restored 
after anointing them with holy water. 1 was stunned by his faith. 

When we finally arrived, we were sent to live with various peasant families. 
The woman who gave Alex and me a room had a heavy mustache. It was early 
Saturday evening. Another boy, Roger, joined us and we all walked into town to 
have dinner by the docks. When we returned we went straight to bed, the 
peasant family long asleep. 

Peter Trias 


We overslept on Sunday and found our hosts already on their way to church. 
Afraid we’d be missed during service, we dressed as if rattled by furies, and ran 
to receive communion. Deciding on a short-cut we hurried through fields past 
primitive windmills. At one point we ran along on top of a low wall until the 
wall stopped dead before a pig-pen, the hogs rolling in the mud. Eventually we 
arrived at the church, just in time to receive communion. No one missed us. 
During the remainder of the service, I stared above the bowed heads as the 
smoke from the incense circled around the gold and silver and the light 

Just afterwards, Alex, Roger, and I anointed ourselves with holy water—Alex 
remained kneeling long after we stepped out into the courtyard. An old farmer 
sat under one of the few trees and two nuns on a stone wall in the distance. Alex 
joined us and we walked over to the farmer. He told us he had a fig farm, that he 
would like to give us a tour. We were delighted and followed slowly behind him. 
Within a few minutes we were walking up and down the gentle hills of his 
orchard, stopping occasionally to pick the fruit, its green skin splitting to reveal 
a pinkish center. As we walked the farmer talked about his life working the land. 

I was pleased how easily 1 understood the Greek. All of a sudden Alex stopped 
and said he could see. I continued taking a few stops looking at the trees and 
fields, the import of his statement not registering. The fig farmer told us we 
must all cross ourselves, which we did obligingly. He then gaxed into the sky to 
thank Panagea. I was dazed, not understanding what was in process. Turning 
around, we all rushed back to the church. 

It was mid-afternoon and unbearably hot. The two nuns still sat on the wall 
as the farmer ran toward them shouting. Alex, Roger, and 1 watched from the 
center ot tne courtyard. Soon tne nuns rushed over and touched Alex as it he 
were a fine and rare brocade. He explained what had happened. Within a few 
minutes three or four more nuns joined us, responding just as the others did. 
One told me to go across the courtyard and hold up various numbers of fingers. I 
did so with one hand shielding my eyes from the sun. Alex shouted across the 
distance, correctly each time. He too held one hand above his eyes. As this test 
was conducted some ten to twenty people, priests and peasants, joined around. 
It was then that Kuria Tzira, the woman who held us in her charge, came 
running up to Alex. A middle-aged man pushed me aside and held up a lighted 
cigarette. As I approached Kuria Tzira, she holding Alex in her arms, the bells of 
the church began to ring. An ever growing number of people filled the 
courtyard. I noticed a few Americans my age. Kuria Tzira instructed us all to 
form a circle around Alex and her, that we would escort them to her hotel on 
the docks. So, slowly at first and then gradually faster, we marched out of the 
courtyard into the cobblestone streets that ran downhill past shops and houses. 
Out of second story windows, peasants called to us as still others lined the 
streets. As we passed, some fell to their knees crossing themselves while others 
pushed against us trying to touch Alex. After a few minutes of being Ixittercd 

The A rchive 


and worshipped, we stood in front of the hotel. The circle split open. Kuria 
Tzira and Alex disappeared into the front lobby. 

Roger and I walked towards the water and stopped beside a fishing boat. A 
newspaper reporter stepped up to us and began questioning. It was too noisy, 
too many people on the docks. Since Roger spoke and understood Greek with 
more case than I, the reporter took him to give his testament at the Newspaper 
Office. Remaining where I stood, I stared out into the sea. The church bells still 

A few townsmen gathered around me as 1 told them the events of the day. As 
I spoke, one handed me a stick of gum which I shoved into my mouth and began 
to chew. Soon Roger appeared again, telling me that the story was to be printed 
in newspapers all over Greece. He then confessed that he had excluded me but 
included the name of his friend as a witness. Not caring terribly about my 

anonymity, still I expressed amazement that he could lie just after a miracle. He 
shouted that 1 was chewing gum just after a miracle, that it made one spit, that it 
was spitting that was unholy. I spit my gum into the gravel at his feet, then 
walked alone up to the church, sat on a wall, and stared at the town below me. 
A ship slowly left the harbor. 


Peter Burian 



Light pierces the air like arrows, 

glides like serpents 

down cliffs the color of blood. 

The air is heavy with wings. 

A hawk hangs there, then spins. 
The sun marches 
to the song of sparrows. 

Light darts along scarred hollows 
where goats forage 
nimbly, bells jangling. 

The air is heavy as dreams. 


Early Spring: 

mist delicate 

as the buds 

waking on 

weird crags, valleys 
curving to 


endings. Kuo Hsi, 

you have built 

temples here 

beside the loud 

These men—small 

and so fragile 

in the mist. 



Mike Ellsworth 


When the last dews of spring 
settled on the land, 
and the birds in their singing 
paused to admire the days, 

I was changed from a man to a boy 
and back 

Just one small piece of nostalgia 

served this transmutation 

a piece of a pocket whistle ring, 

the part that made the noise, 

and that 1 had hidden 

in my secret tree years before 

it means even more to me now than it did to the 

boy who hid it 

a boy who hid lightless lightbulbs 

and waffle iron cords 

and thought the broken special 

These days that 1 have portioned out 
to find myself and forget myself, 
these days when 1 am sown in the wheatficlds 
around me 

and when I feel like a living growing thing 
and when with a shake I clear out my head 
of all the trinkets of my present— 
these days are when the past falls within me 
and begins to stir like a mouse in my hand 

In the green womb of the spring earth, 
on the spongy fabric of the nostalgia land, 
who could explain a grown man 
stretched out in the trees 
eyesaglitter with the light of a rascal, 
trying to play tunes 
on a one note tin whistle 


Yet tunes I played 
symphonies of single notes 
and I played to the fields 
and the land made me whole 
and I played my music for my trees 
and for my cars 

wiping off the spit on my sleeve 
spending hours polishing, shining the kernel 
of my childhood 
the seed of my new significance 
to myself 

I am yours 
you are my wings 
together we have everything, 
each other 

you and I 

lying in the morning 
on crisp white sheets 

touching, not talking 

of the sunset of our day 

in the rose of your bosom I wept 
and the dew, 

it covered our windowpanes 
lightly, in the morning’s first glow 

and the day ’s last goodbye 

and I cried to the gods of morning 

and night 

to let us stay and 

please let us lay 

here: soft and fragrant 

in the beginning of the day 



just another morning- 
blues on my windowsill 
greens in the yard— 
another morning to get up 

out of sleep 

brought wretched to life again 
from a dream tossed night- 

in my dreams when I sleep 
I think of triumphs and defeats 
at the hands of a gladiator race 

1 don’t want to he a Christian 
if it means the lions, 
and I don’t want to live among you 

if it means defiance 

I awoke and wrote on the days of my windowpanes 
the sun-lit flowers in the yard 

fused with my headache, I glassily stare 
at the features of my reality 

soon in this morning, 1 begin to mumble 

and rhyme to myself, myself— 

laughing at my cleverness; 

thinking to myself how wonderful 

it all would be- 

if 1 never had to go downstairs 


James Dunbar 


Pentameter — the pibroch of the line, 

And Sonnet — the sonata of the form 

Of Poetry! See if the present storm 

That lifts my blood in waves is not a sign 

Of flood, confusion, and the instant time 

When you must fail! Long have you sung of love 

Without a peer — but She is come: a dove 

To roll back earth, and show men the divine! 

So let the poets strain no more for rime, 

Nor think that verse is any tool for praise, 

Till they remember Eve in paradise, 

And fall again for the supreme design. 

Then may they see what God at last reveals: 

The woman whose eyes can melt the seven seals 





a)s w(e loo)k 

aThe): 1 

!p : 








rca (be)rran(com)gi(e)ngly 

e.e. cummings 




a(ls \vi(r zuschaue)n 


nTer): sp 

!g = 









translated by 

Jay McPherson Cheesman 

Bill Marquess 



It swept across the morning stones, the wand; 

It beat upon cathedral walls that grew into 
Great well-washed spires falling short of Heaven. 
1 remember that it swept. 

_ * _ 

A tenor in the choir loft is singing all alone; 

The rest are merely tapestry. 

The priests are weaving fantasy 
Among complacent pews. 

Sole singer in a mined choir, 


Sing the beauty of her eyes, 

The curve of ripened skin. 

Sing the softness of a laugh, 

A sigh, the healing of a fever in the mind. 

An only organ note is dancing 
In the stillness of the empty vault. 

The dream has caught the singer’s tongue. 

_ * _ 

1 remember that it swept 

Around my hollow cheeks in the night 

As I left without the singer’s robe. 

Julian Chestny 


At seventy, Eloise Harris, four years widowed, quit the pursuit of comfort 
and began to chase bondage. Her own. It was a silent hunt, mapped privately, 
mulled constantly. And so skillfully executed, it was months before the 
neighbors noticed a change. By that time, Eloise was entering the final stages of 

She set tea for Hattie Turner. Cream and sugar, a pot of tea, a hot coffee 
cake, and butter on her kitchen table. 

“Mmm, that cake smells good, Lulu, good. We sure have missed your baking 
in Bible class.” 

“Missed it? I haven’t skipped but one of my turns.” 


“Two nothing. I only have one turn a month.” 

“This month you had two. Ellen Wilkers was sick one Tuesday, couldn’t 
bake, and so your turn came up again one time sooner. It was a scene, too, Lulu. 
Bettie didn’t hear about Ellen being sick until an hour before class, and you 
should have seen her running around fussing, yelling ‘Ellen Wilkers is sick and 
there’s no cake and where’s Lu Harris? She should have known about this. It’s 
her place to fill in.’ She was a sight, Lulu. Running around, her hair falling out of 
that silly bun. Looks like a donut the baker couldn’t sell. She finally got the 
rectory janitor to drive her to a bakery and came back half an hour after class 
should have started with a plain pound cake and some cookies that were stale. 
Cheap, she is. And later I heard her say that she thought your name should be 
removed from the roster because you hadn’t come for so long.” 

“Well, I haven’t. And I think I’ll just let Bettie remove me from the roster if 
she wants.” 

“Why Lulu!” Hattie blew out her breath. She made her eyes round and cut 
herself a big piece of cake, her second, the first being not quite finished. “I’m so 
surprised at you. You always said that Bible class was your salvation after Jack 


The Archive 

“Don't need it any more.” 

“Don’t say that now. It’s not right to say that. You’re probably just a little 
more tired these days. After all, you have that big grandson to look after now.” 

“I’m not tired. I’m up at seven every morning. I sweep and clean this whole 
house before nine and make breakfast for Donnie before then too. Afterwards I 
have a nice, slow breakfast and read the paper, just like Jack used to after he 
retired. If it's good weather, I eat on the porch, like we did. And after that I’m 
in good shape to bake, and shop, and sew, to cook Donnie two more meals and 
some snacks too, usually, to call the Dodge showroom a couple of times and 
sometimes walk over there, and to do whatever else needs to be done. Now you 
know, Hattie, that a person who can do all that isn’t anything like tired.” 

“Crazy, maybe. You ought to take it easy, be with your friends more.” 

“No I ought not. Have some more cake.” 

Hattie did. 

“Your cooking is just a passion with me, Lulu, a real passion.” 

Lust had not wasted Hattie’s flesh. 

“But listen here. Your time can be better spent than in cooking for and 
fussing over that grandson. He’s so big as it is. You ought to feed him less. The 
ceilings in this house can’t afford to have him grow any taller.” 

“I think I know how to take care of my boy, Hattie. Now you stop fussing 
over me. Be a friend. Make my excuses to all the Bible class ladies. I don’t think 
I’ll come any more.” 

“It’s frightening, Lulu. It’s just not like you.” 

“It’s as like me as I’ll ever get. You just tell those ladies.” 

“I’ll tell them.” 

When Hattie left, Eloise pressed her to take the rest of the cake, plus two jars 
of home-made preserves—“Because you like them so much; I can always make 
more”—and fulfilled a request to lend her some pie applies—“Take all you 
want.” Which Hattie did. 

Four o’clock then. Quiet in the house. An hour and a half before Donnie 
would be home, wanting dinner. Eloise sat in Hattie’s warmed-up chair. The 
warmth drew the fatigue of her spine and pelvis out to her skin. Old in spite of 
herself. A grandmother’s body. Eloise often wondered if she were still a wife and 
a mother now that her husband was dead and her children were gone. She kept 
faith in herself as wife and mother, but her body was insidious. Thick and slow 
now, it undermined her devotion. 

Tall, solid grandson. Donnie’s body towered in the chair where Hattie’s had 
jellied and slumped. Eloise didn’t have to bend over as she stood beside the chair 
to hug him. Receiving the hug, his eye fell on the plane behind her ear. Some 
white hair tufted out under her brown wig. 

“How was work today, my big boy!” The sound of pleasure Eloise made was 
a vigorous grunt. She ran her hand over Donnie’s cheek for delight. 

“Okay, Grandma.” He placed her hand on the table. 

Eloise giggled. “So you’re too big to be hugged!” 

“Feels that way.” Donnie was eighteen years old & six feet four inches tall. 
He had been too big for a long time, and was just learning from the men at the 

Julian Chestny 


Dodge showroom, in spite of their teasing, how to get some pride out of his size. 
He draped his lone forearms on the table and sat hunched over, polite, deferring 
to the smallness of the furniture. He watched Eloise as she set the table. 
Although she was plump, the brittle ends of her bones still showed, at her 
elbows, shoulders, knees, and Donnie never knew how afraid he should be of 
accidentally breaking her. 

“I talked to Harry this morning. He says you’re doing just fine. Says you’ll 
make a real salesman. I’m so proud of you.” 

“Hey, you don’t have to ask Hany how I’m doing any more, Gram. I’ve been 
there six weeks. I can tell you how I’m doing.” 

“I just want to be sure Harry appreciates you as much as he should. He better 
know you’re special. You’re my grandson.” 

“I’m not your only grandson.” 

“You’re the only one I ever asked to come live with me.” She helped 
Donnie’s plate to meat, vegetables, biscuits, before setting each dish on the table. 
“Isn’t that something special?” 


“Don’t mumble into your food. I don’t know what’s the matter with you. 
Such a fine boy. Why’re you so sulky? I brought you here because you’re too 
good for that miserable father of yours. You know it. Miserable man. Drinking 
and tearing things up all the time.” 

“I know all about him, Gram. He does drink a lot, but he never tore anything 
up. Just sits drunk. Mostly makes Mama cry.” 

“Don’t you try to tell me about Furman Harris’s problems. I know all about 
them. I know how no good he is.” 

“He’s your son, Gram.” 

“I know. I know. Worst one of the lot and the only one who never moved out 
of town. That’s funny. And why’re you so soft on your Dad all of a sudden? I 
thought you’d had enough of his drinking, Donnie. I thought my place looked 
pretty good to you when you came here.” 

“Yes’m. It did.” 

“Then perk up.” Eloise was eating her dinner in spurts, moving around the 
kitchen in between to fetch things for Donnie. More potatoes. Another napkin. 
Salt. Honey and jam, in addition to the butter already on the table, for his 

“For God’s sake, sit down, Gram.” 

Eloise laughed and hugged his neck. “All right. I’m too fussy. I know.” She 
did sit still through the rest of the meal. 

“We got the first catalogs of the new models in today, Gram. You should see 
some of those cars. Harry says Dodge has to compete with the Europeans that 
are making the rotary engines. Dodge doesn’t have a model with a rotary engine 
yet, but some of the equipment they’ve started to put on their cars is 
unbelievable. I can’t wait to drive one.” 

“I’m sure you’ll be able to sell them, with all that enthusiasm. I just hope it 
doesn’t frizzle when you see that the new cars don’t drive as good as your car." 

“Oh, mine’s all right, Gram, but it’s already five years old. Parts are starting 
to wear out. Some for the second or third time.” 


The Archive 

“Little parts, yes, but it’s solid.” 

“It’s big, Gram, but it's not so solid as you think.” 

Eloise chuckled. “When you’re a real experienced salesman like Harry, you’ll 
know the difference between a good car and a fancy-looking one.” 

“Know now. Good dinner. Gram. I’m going out for a while.” He patted her 
shoulder and left. 

—Donnie. Not like your grandfather at all.Not like Jack,no sir.God help us if 
you should turn out like your father. Furman. To think that Jack named him. 
Only one of five he did name. I think he saved that name up from his own 
childhood, to give it to his son. After lie gave it, he was content. Didn’t name 
another....Aaah, Donnie’lt get some sense as he gets older. Please, boy, get the 
sense of a good home, a good place to be. 

“You're indulging him. Lulu. It’ll do him no good. He’s running you down 
and he doesn’t love you a bit more for it.” 

Julian Chestny 


“You can’t say that, Hattie. You don’t know him. He’s not your boy.” 

“Doesn’t make any difference. People are all the same. None of them ever 
thanked you for being a slave to them. And you’re fooling yourself trying to 
keep up with him. You haven’t got the strength. You’re too old. You’re an old 
woman just like me.” 

“You be old your way and leave me to mine.” 

“Don’t be stubborn, Lulu. Just look at what you’ve done for him. Most of it 
doesn’t even make sense. Like why’d you buy him a second-hand car and then 
get him a job working around brand new ones? You know how boys are. It 
shouldn’t surprise you that he’s getting tired of his car.” 

“Harry picked that car out. It’s good. It’s better than anything that make 
new. Harry knows. He was Jack’s partner for nearly forty years. Jack said Harry 
had the better eye for cars.” 

“If Jack had willed you his half of the partnership instead of selling it to 
Harry, you’d have been able to buy Donnie a brand new car.” 

“Hattie, you’re overstepping.” 

Hattie and Eloise bided a little time quietly, eating and sipping, waiting to see 
if they would talk to each other any more this afternoon. They would not. 
Hattie said she’d go now and Eloise bundled up some leftover cookies for her. 

“I’m going to be busy tomorrow afternoon, so I can’t have you to tea.” 

Hattie nodded. “See you some other time, Lulu.” 

“I’ll call you.” 

Hattie nodded. She counted on it. 

Truculent bones. Eloise pushed the bones in her forearms, her femurs, and 
shinbones, as stiffly as she pushed the broom handle. The cool, blue morning 
recalled the vigorous days of her motherhood. Five children in the house. She 
sang to herself for the pride of her former strength. Hobbled, she chased her 
young self through the house joyfully. 

—With a sweater, 1 can sit on the porch for breakfast this morning. Read the 
paper. Relax. 

Eloise was not a reader. Until her husband’s death, she had not sat still for the 
purpose of reading since she had sat with her young children over their first 
primers. Jack had been a serious reader, of the newspaper, and of histories, 
mostly local histories. Since his death, Eloise had carefully read the newspaper 
every morning, just as he read it: business section first, then farm and weather 
reporters, the front page, and the advice columns. She formed each word 
deliberately in her mind, sometimes with her lips, not because the act was 
difficult, but because it was intensely pleasurable. She retained no sense of what 
she had read. 

It was premature to sit on die porch this morning. Bright, beautiful, but still 
too cool, sweater or no. The chill broke Eloise’s concentration. She refused to 
get a coat or to move inside and tried to make the cold against her skin into a 
form of pleasure, as she had done as a girl. No success. Irritability. No pleasure, 
just half-pleasure. Eloise put down the paper and watched the passing traffic. 
Thus, when Furman parked his car in front of her house, she had already had her 
eye on him for several minutes. 


The Archive 

He walked to the steps and looked up at her. “Good morning, Ma." 

“What’re you doing here?” 

“Caine for a visit. Are you busy?” 

“Maybe.” She had not seen Furman for several months. The resemblance 
between him and Donnie shocked her. Father and son without a doubt, just as 
Jack and Furman had looked like father and son. Yet something had changed in 
the passage from Jack to Donnie. The mark of her husband’s well-remembered 
face was on her grandson, but it flickered before her eyes. Cruelty. Only the 
sight of Furman could bring the connection among the three men into focus. 
Furman. Recalcitrant son. Oldest. Recipient of Jack’s negligent favors. Wasted 
now. Aged beyond his forty-two years. He was racing her into old age. He had 
carried his alcoholism to the steps of her front porch. His failure, a limp mouse 
caught between his thin cat lips. She was enraged. 

"I came to check on Donnie.” 

“He’s working.” 

“I know. I know. I figured he wouldn’t want to see me. I thought I’d just ask 
you about him. It’s been almost two months since I’ve seen him.” 

“Why’d it take you so long to get concerned? 

Furman paused, swallowed. He leaned toward the porch but did not take a 
step. “I think I ought to thank you for taking him in. He always needed ...” 

“Don’t you try to tell me what he needs. You have no idea.” 

Furman paused again, gathering patience vainly. Eloise knew the limits of his 
patience well. She studied him now, noticed how clean and thin and worn 
smooth he looked. Blue eyes set neatly in brown tucked skin. Worn to the bare 
fact of being her son. 

“Well, I suppose you do know best. You’re giving him a good home, and I'm 
gra teful.” 


“I know you’re not rich, and neither am I, but I thought I could help out a 
little. The boy eats a lot. 1 brought some money.” He held out three bills, 
arranged fan-like, two tens and a five. 

“Where’d that come from? Are they starting to refuse your money at the 
package store?” 

“No, m’am. I saved this for my son.” 

“Well, you can just save it some more. Don’t you even let it touch this house. 
Put it back in your pockets. Take it away. Go on.” She pushed his hand away at 
the wrist. 

“I have a right to give this for my son.” 

“You have no rights around here. You wore them all out a long time ago. 
Now get away from my porch.” 

“Then I’ll give it to him personally. Maybe he can have a good time with it." 

‘He won’t even speak to you. That’s why you came here.” 

“I came because I thought you could be reasonable, but I see that I was 

As Furman turned to go, his jacket sleeve caught the wire stand of a flower 
pot, one he remembered as having been on the porch railing since his childhood. 

Julian Chestny 


The pot rocked dangerously on the railing for a moment. Furman waited. When 
it had settled, he grinned at his mother. Tidy urine-colored teeth framed by 
brown skin. He got in his car, slamming the door after him, and left. 

“You father was here today.” 

Donnie had just sat down to wait for his dinner. Eloise was still working at 
the stove. 

“He wanted to know how you were. Funny thing for him to be asking. Didn’t 
seem to care much how you were when you lived with him. 1 got the feeling he 
was checking up on me, like he thought I didn’t know how to take care of you. 
Well I told him where to go. It’ll be a while before he bothers us again.” 

Donnie tried to trace the flowered pattern of the tablecloth with his finger. 

“What do you think of that, Donnie?” 

“I know he was here. He came to the showroom.” 

“You talked to him?” 


“What for?” 

“Because he came to visit me.” 

“Well you sure are a peculiar boy. If 1 was as unhappy living with somebody 
as you were with him, I’d never speak to that person ever.” 

“But he’s my father, and he came to visit me.” 

“He’s no good as a father.” 

“Doesn’t make much difference to me.” 

“Oh it doesn’t!” 

“No m’am. He’s the only father I’ve got. I’ve still got to be loyal to him even 
if I don’t like him too much. 

Eloise put down a spoon and turned away from the stove, towards her 
grandson. Her voice rose. It had lost resonance with age. She could no longer 
shout. Her voice climbed toward a shout, then cracked and fell away. “You’re a 
foolish boy. You can’t give your loyalty to some people, even if they’re family. 
Some people don’t deserve it. You give your loyalty to the folks that earn it.” 

“I give mine to some that earn it and some that don’t.” 

Eloise crossed the room and slapped Donnie loudly. He sat still. The redness 
of his slapped check blended gradually with a deep blush that formed under the 
skin of his whole neck and face. Eloise stood over him, shaking, for a moment. 

“Get some sense, Donnie. I don’t want to hear any more talk like that. I 
won’t let you turn out like Furman.” She laughed. “He wanted to leave some 
money for you. Thought he could fix up his mistakes.” 

“I know, Gram.” 

“Well he’s learning now that he can’t fix his mistakes. I taught him that 
today. Did he try to give that money to you?” 

Amazement. Donnie looked sharply at his grandmother. “Don’t you know. 
Gram? I took it from him.” 


“I thought you would have figured that out. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” 



The Archive 

“Do you want some of it. Gram” 1 can give you some of it. All of it.” 


Eloise set dinner on the table and left Donnie alone to eat it. Which he did. 

“Where’s Donnie lately? I haven’t seen him in the last day or two.” After a 
week, Hattie had been readmitted to tea. 

“Harry took him to Detroit for an advance showing of the new cars.” 

“Bet he was excited.” 

“Sure was.” 

Hattie cleared her throat. “Coming back to Bible class, Lulu?” 


Hattie was charitable. Uncharacteristically silent. Tea was dull. Eloise had 
been cut loose. She refused to drift towards the old woman across the table from 
her. Drifting, after all, did not have to mean a change of place. The paper, the 
porch, the kitchen, would all still be there. 

“Donnie will be back in a few days?” 

“Yes. In three days.” 

“Do you think he’ll stay?” 

Eloise’s whole body felt light. Now she was moving toward something. Fear 
churned in her stomach. Motion sickness. 


She saw that Hattie’s cup was empty, but made no move to fill it. All her 
actions had become gratuitous. The drifting of her body had become defined. 
She was rising. To where? She smiled. An absurd vision of herself. She was 
sitting calmly in the upper air of the kitchen. Like a queen. 

John Stevenson 



Some see the succession of years 
As drops from a faulty faucet. 

They form at the edge, fall one 
After the other, and end, consummate. 

Each one begins as a glimmer against 
Dull iron, takes shape and plummets, 

Poised in the face of disintegration, 

For it knows another already glimmers above it. 

The watch of the water-years is an easy 
Fascination. Repetition renders a halycon 
Hypnosis, until (and unless) something jolts, 

Then bolts the awake watcher to a new vision. 

The vision is fleeting, but so pressing 
That, in the end, the worth of the hunt 
Overbalences a still-phantom answer for those 
Who cannot return to the sound of drops, resonant 



Ignorance comes easily most winter days. 

The world huddles under a cloud-coverlet, 

Safe and snug, knowing nothing except 
The comfort of that softly substantial blanket. 

Other days, the world-womb opens, but, then, often 
The deep day-blue sky reflects the iceburg-earth 
And the wind rips thoughts out of heads 
As we sink into ourselves, awaiting new birth. 

Sometimes, though, spirits buoy with a rising red 
Mercury. Then we can look, and, perhaps, are 
Shook by a view of the world that winter’s 
Wiles kept hid obscurely as a dead star. 

The vision is all in brown and black. 

Sluggish capillary branches reach for the unknown, 
The dead sod afords no solace—the dull 
Core of existence is revealed, alone. 


Diffusing its light through manifold snow-motes, 

The street-lamp abuses my notions of expansiveness. 
The world, this room, myself shrink as nature 
Tightens a curtaining womb, regardless 
Of postures of potency. The ice-arras 
Cloaks petty ego, self-glory is rendered remote. 
Before this display of omnipotent element, 

Life seems white, windblown, irrelevant. 


“It was like the second when you come home late at 
night and see the yellow envelope of the telegram sticking 
out from under your door and you lean and pick it up, but 
don’t open it yet, not for a second...but you open the 
envelope, you have to open the envelope, for the end of 
man is to know.” 

All the King’s Men 

A taut bow-string pulling the temples, 

Heated quick-silver rising behind the eyes, 

A sudden famine in the stomach- 

The envelope spells my name and I hope it lies. 

Hope, but know it is the truth, bitter 

Know that child-hallowed dream of innocence, 

Winking, cheats, and unveils a worse pain: 

The unholy pain of willing ignorance. 

Spirit sleeps, but the mind must seek more 
And more, until it knows and is satisfied. 
Satisfied, in ways, like waiting for 
The totter to turn to a crash, undignified. 

The cocoon demands opening, and, once done 
Always done, awakes the dormant script there, 
Which spreads and flies to that all-seeking 
Element, but just brushes the spirit in its lair. 

Contact surprises like a sudden shout- 
The spirit for its depth lacks insulation, 

And it shrinks and sinks with speedful fear 
Into the endless round of recrimination. 

Close the door 

if it helps you 

it is so hard to love 

Stephan once you see it 

it wears off and fades 

an art needs practice unfailing 

and love, love is a hard task 

i had too much apple pie today 

to chastise my insufficient self 

into greater abasement 

i follow your shadow 

listening to myself speak to myself 

it was about acting i believe 

i after e except after c 

exception rhymes with deception 

which regardless brings conception 

that hurts like pebbles digging into your feet. 

most people don’t stop at the stop signs. 

acting is making other people 

believe what you are not and yet 

paradoxically what you are in 

your most concealed thoughts sometimes 

i saw a cat 

yellow-eyed grey black 

i am indifferent to cats 

in fact i rather like to pinch them unawares 

but to break this twisted indifference 

i bent down to caress furr 

we both were alone this cat and i 

and people say that cats are not 

possessive-independant creatures 

feeding on their selves 

but i want to know every thought 

you feel and think and share all mine 

with you and i need that you 

reassure me with your love which 

i sometimes doubt- i talk 

to you without saying anything 

just letters thrown into words and 


words into reasonable sentences 
and i look at you 

i do not know 

you better than that stranger 
closing the door 
ah it would be so easy to love 
physically like the animals do 
you see if we make love we do 
not have to think 
the physical reassurance i want 
because you fail to give me the 
essence which would make 
your smile enough 

i do not mean to be possessive 
a door slams 

someone has entered a house 

and has turned on the light 

other loves await us Yeats says 

like those turkish pashas with their harems 

ah cat, passing by cat 

i am lost in the sleekness of grey furr 

your shadow mingling with mine 

shall we interchange them 

the shadow of a girl attached to a cat 

the shadow of a cat glued to a girl 

until the lease is paid 

until you bit me at the wrist 

too possessive for you was i? 

goodnight sweet cat 

and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest 

old woman leave me alone 

shut up 

slam the door 

if you need to 

the neighbors will hear 

you don’t want the neighbors 

to see me out at night alone 

on the porch writing- they’ll 

think i’m a little funny 





Too stupid to ask, “Do I dare?” 

Trousers gloriously unfurled, 

Having eaten only cold cereal, 

I joined you on the beach 
And we talked, each to each. 

You had no fins (none apparent, anyway), 
And stood on dry ground. 

Your hair was adequately combed, 

Face wreathed only with sleep-lines, 

But what perplexity were your designs. 

Peach-innocent, I followed 
Thinking that I led, talked 
Till your talking silenced me, 

Turned my life around. 

I lingered in the chambers of your voice; 
Followed willessly, without choice, 

But my own words woke me, and I drowned. 

Pat McNellis 



Young Chagall turned his face full soft 

toward the page and sketched a slender nose, 

etched curves for eyes...without eyes, 

fine lined holes (all black ink on milky white) — there, 

to see inside where the color grows. 

His small taut lips, almost ruler drawn, 
smile a passing thought 
to a brother animal, on his head, 
a living hat that holds secure 
a frenzied curl of imagination. 

All black ink on milky white 
and not a line is cancelled. 

The animal hat turns to his right, 
tongue out of laughing mouth, 
tasting the bit of youth 
he carries on his back. 

The two are laughing still 

that such bold youth should want to play with old Chagall. 


Tim Westmoreland 


While I half-slept in the shade 

my grandmother hung white shirts, sweet-smelling, 
on a wire 
in the sun. 

Under the tree 
from the small end of a pear 
was a thick brown syrup 
which the bees drifted to. 



Sleeping above me 
is a copperhaired man. 

The rafters speak when 
he turns in his bed. 

A restless bird calls the hours. 
Listening to the nights voice 
1 fall into a flood of grey badgers 
and sleep. 


Reasons howsoever 

One is for a muscular angel 

For counting thine diamonds 

That added the surrounding wilderness 

Alfred Starr Hamilton 

Reasons howsoever 
One is for a clarion 
Against our thorny breasts 
That sounded the silver horn 

Reasons whatsoever 

PINEAPPLES One is for a sweeter parrot 

That is clawing our golden stupor 
Wherever we are anchored here 

Reasons howsoever 
One amongst many is for 
One of our staring cross angels 
Being chary across the blue skies 

Reasons whatsoever 
One is for our golden riverside 
One is for our golden chariot 
For startling our jungle stars 

Reasons whatsoever 
One is for a louder angel 
One is for a pink golden lion 
On top of a high jungle rose 

Reasons howsoever 
One is for a wondrous pin cushion 
One is louder for the gold of the day 
One is for the call of the jungle 
For more golden stars 


James Dunbar 


Where are the men who built the rings of stone, 
who lived in hives of unmortared stone 
on a rock in the midst of the sea; 
singing thanks and praise 
to God for their short, hard lives? 

Where are the carven knights, 

the warriors raised on cold slabs, 

who lived in anonymous industry 

making beautiful things: 

the transient — which remain to us, 

the spiritual — which have passed into the furrows 

that support turnips and little children 

who do not know. . . 

Where is Man 

who used stone for a pillow, 
counting barren moor and soilless coast 
a blessing for that it was firm 
and not the open sea? 

Where is the small race, 

the moon-hunted men, hardy as brown rabbits— 
the men of fitted stone? 


Susan Tifft 

LONDON, 1971 

There’s a rain on the house. 

And within a spire’s peal, 
a ring of blackened trees, 
slicked black by the wash, 
their slick green leaves 
wet and beaded with heavy pearls. 

There’s a rain on the house. 

Telltale drops that pock the sky, 
and clean the window-welded cobwebs 
loose in silent destruction 
(sending the bomb and the tears 
all at once). 

There’s a rain in the house. 

Sense it swelling, 
welling up the backdams, 
creaking at the seampoints, 
trickling over my foreign domain, 
seeking its release. 


Sheila Rebecca Adams 

Spring hit hard 

In March of ’72. 

Yellow Bells rang out warnings. 

Violets grouped for battle 

In moist and mossy enclaves. 
Crocuses advanced from hiding. 
Daffodils thrust forth in legions strong. 
The sun heat down relentlessly, 
Liquidating the forces of Winter. 

People of the Winter 
Fought to survive. 

Mother was a Winter woman 
In March of ’72. 

April dawned without her. 


Today I met a man 

Who had only one arm. 
He opened a door for me. 


Allen Jamison CASE NUMBER 4 


The building had been reduced to rubble and cinders—not so much billowing 
smoke and slow consumption as a drumbeat, a heart beat, and total annihilation. 
Police lines had been set up, but even with the sawhorses in the busy tenement 
street the debris extended for hundreds of feet, almost a full city block. The 
sirens were silent and the fire engines were going, being practically useless in the 
situation. Bill Friedman, commander of the bomb detection unit, had finished 
inspecting what was left of the four-story false front row house, and was 
waddling in full gear towards the mobile bomb unit’s van. Phil walked quickly 
towards the van, and I followed. Friedman motioned to his patrol to go ahead 
and search the rubble; his cursory inspection had turned up no undetonated 
explosives. It was like that scene in Slaughterhouse Five after the fire bombing at 
Dresden—nothing left at all. 

“Some o’ your revolutionaries there, Phil,” Friedman noted sardonically as he 
saw Phil and I cross the police lines. Phil got away with a lot being the son of a 
former detective, now a precinct chief. Known to every cop in a fifteen precinct 
area, he was the kid who grew up the son of a cop who always wanted to be a 
detective—but when he grew his hair long and fell deep into the clutches of the 
evil hippie movement, he conveniently became something else: the icon of all 
potential good-turned-bad because of the lousy liberals and their dope-addled 
consciousnesses. Phil got busted because all the cops knew him also. Since then, 
the old friends in blue who had taken him to see the Dodgers (and later the 
Mets) suddenly saw him in a slightly more brutal light, like the one on the table 
in the third-degree tank. Still, that was two years ago, just after Woodstock; and 
time was healing that particular blow to the sensibilities of Phil’s old friends. 

“Found traces of quite a few explosives, eh Lt. Friedman?,” Phil tossed back. 
I don’t know how he could tell these things, I guess he could pick it out of the 
air from the general stench. He never wasted a question. 

“Yeh, your plain gunpowder, a lot of dynamite, traces of plastic explosives, 
some nitro from God knows where, your gelignite, gasoline jelly, traces of 
military hardware, the whole schmcer.” Lt. Friedman talked a bit like Archie 
Bunker when he was relaxed or confident. 

“Do you think the search will turn up anything?” I could see in his eyes that 
Phil already knew the answer to that one. 

“Nah, not a goddam thing left—couldn’t be after that blast.” The only 
problem with the authenticity of TV is that you know Archie Bunker would 
cuss his buns off if he could. 1 noticed the bumper sticker on the mobile unit van 
said “Archie Bunker in ’72.” Next to that, on the left side of the bumper, one 
said “Demolition Derby!! This Weekend March 3 & 4!! Long Island 

Allen Jamison 


Dragaway!!!” I guess graveyard humor was addictive in this line of work; two of 
the bomb squad men had been killed and one was paralyzed just two weeks 
before in that incident in Queens. 

“How many people got their minds blown, Ossifer Friedman?,” I interjected 
in my inimitable waggish manner (none dare say obnoxious). 

“Well, we have reports that nine people lived in the house off and on.” 
Friedman hated communes. His sixteen-year-old daughter split for one 
somewhere in Jersey. “We’ve found pieces of eight different ones so far.” (One 
of his men had waddled up to him as wc talked to report the grisly find). 

I got on my best Long John Silver voice: “Aye, matey, oil these yars I been 
searchin’ for them pieces of eight.” Like I said, graveyard humor was addictive in 
the business. 

He looked as though he would have liked to single-handedly oversee the cold 
turkey I would have from the rather advanced stage of my peculiar addiction 
before he continued. “Just thank God the house next door was condemned. 
Looks like the lady in the next house back will lose her sight.” I later found out 
her retinas fell; she had some condition like cataracts and had had a delicate 

“Wow, that’s a stone bummer.” I’m an eye-person. Oh, yeah: I’m well into 
hip lingo—it’s o.k., as long as you know you’re using it. 

“Yessir, that’s how it is, Al: join the revolution and get your mind blown; 
that’s it alright...” Christ, that sententious Jewish morality. I mean he sounded 
just like my mother; that slow, ironic, underhanded philosophical tone. Ossifer 
Friedman often lapsed into speculations of a Jewish mother level. He had known 
me since I started hanging around with Phil, since we were friends together in 
junior high. We’d grown close in senior high, Phil and I. Speaking of Phil, the 
lynx-eyed seer (metaphor from Poe) had spotted something as it happened. 

“One of your men is spotting something, Lieutenant.” Phil had seen a 
metallic object dully glinting in the ash, and one of the surreal bomb squad men 
approaching it. As Friedman and I turned, we saw the figure bent over 
examining the object. He then motioned to a fellow, and the two men, their 
enthusiasm evident beneath the thick protective padding, stumbled across the 
awful carnage which was an ordered relic of civilization a scant two hours 
before. Nice sentence, huh? Make me want to write one of those good British 
addresses: 8 Squinsell Row, Ludgate Towers, Whitesmear, Blackburn Lancashire, 
76. At any rate, the cops finally got to us. In their hands was a scarred but 
reasonably intact nineteenth century miniature steel safe. 


Well, now that I have your attention, let me do the classic section 2 digression 
thing. Ho hum. Please feel free to skip this section. Its just that the first part 
came to me spontaneously, of a piece, the day after the mess happened; it only 
took fifteen hours from front to back anyway—and I was still pretty moved by 
the intensity of those first minutes. Have you ever seen a part of a human body 
detached, or just how crushed and fragile-looking the broken frame that once 
loved appears? One girl, apparently Near Eastern, was partially decapitated. She 


The Archive 

was beautiful. I spare you all detail, it is not your karma to see, you didn’t have 
to be there. Confronting the memories is a quiet, cold, solitary trip. Not even [ 
you nice humans can help. 

Ah, well, now that its been a while, and all can be seen in the cool light of 
insanity, I’ve got to tackle some hard work and color in the background. 
Anyway, Digress is our Most Important Product. First, let me be totally out 
front with you out there in readerland (writing is a freaky thing y’know; a lot of 
responsibility—that’s why I’m trying my hand in it at a forum of such local j 
interest—I mean, imagine people contributing 1/10 of their brains to a line of 
print I wrote: strange). First of all, you probably guessed by now that I’m a Leo 
My name is Allen Louis Jameson, and despite the Bel-Air-Hotel-for-WASPS 
quality about the name, you already know I’m half Jewish. I was raised as both: 
Jewish and Catholic, that is. I was gonna play it cute with the pertinent data at 
first: “Our scene is a large eastern metropolis, which shall hereinafter be called 
‘New York' or ‘The Big Apple’.” Hmm. Well, still and all I’ve got to be 
extremely cool about name dropping. Although you-who-read this are 
sympathetic and under 30 and all that bullshit, you just might take the magazine 
back home to Joisy City and somebody’ll see it who will let it out into circles 
where ripples return to senders etc. etc. What I’m trying to say is, don’t let 
mummy and daddy see what belongs to Just Us Kids, o.k.? 

This isn’t for my sake, but for Phil’s; for if the truth behind the events which 
befall upon that fateful day in 19-- (hereinafter to be known as ’71)—oh, never 
mind. This is hard for me to say: but 1 love the dude. His very name means 
“love” in Greek, and I have a heavy Platonic thing for him. I really do. It would 
embarrass the pee out of me if he read this, too. I dunno. He’s just an incredible, 
beautiful and fine human being. A genius. He’s a quadruple Scropio—sun 
conjunct Mercury in his First house in the sign and moon laying right on top of 
his ascendant goddern exactly 15° in Scorpio. I used to kid him about Kenneth 
Anger’s Scorpio Rising, but like Queen Victoria I think it was, he are not 
amused. Also, for pure mental power, Mars conjunct Saturn in Virgo in his 
eleventh house. Means a lot of people don’t like him. He used to tell me, ‘‘A 
Scorpio walks through a room of ten people and makes five enemies.” I’ve seen 
Phil go ten for ten. 

Born, like me, in the days of old the days of gold the days of ‘49, Phil grew 
up the kid of a big city cop. Unlike me, he read every Hardy Boys book three 
times (I was a science-fiction freak), and by the age of 10 had committed to 
memory Poe’s Auguste Dupin stories. By the age of 1 5, the set of the complete 
volumes of Arthur Conan Doyle his poppa coppa owned had been well thumbed; i 
he still rereads select portions regularly. Once, with great suprise and enthusiasm, 
he read to me from Sri Aurobindo about how mystery-detective novels had 
steadily progressed in quality from the days of Sherlock Holmes. I attributed the 
increase in convolution to the Age of Aquarius, where great mental power will 
reshape the structure of what we call plot. But he just drew back in himself the 
way he does and said that the truly remarkable thing about Holmes is that he 
really lived and solved cases in a very like manner to the way Sir Arthur 
described it in the stories. I filed this back somewhere with Marlowe being 
Shakespeare, but since have had recourse to draw his prophetic statement back 

Alien Jamison 


into the light. This is to say, I remembered what he said when the truth of it was 
proved to me beyond the shadow of a doubt. But that’s for another written 
exercise at some later date. 

Phil’s room, at any rate, was a recycling center for all those wierded-out 
mystery books you see in those third-hand bookstores down tenth avenue (“I 
gotta make a phone call”—Here, take a page from my novel”). You know the 
trip: ripped covers revealing faded 1952 semi-clad cuties lying there with guys 
standing ominously in the background shadows with a knife, or with black 
gloves on and hats pulled down over their eyes; ripped covers leaving only 
“angler” for “Strangler” and “se he ar-sighted ph” for The Case of the 
Near-sighted Nymph. ” Perry Mason, Hercules Poirot, Mike Hammer, he knew 
them all, their techniques and personalities; the Saint, the Rex Stout series, Mrs. 
Marple, thirty people I’d never even heard of. Every method of murder and 
manner of solving the crime was locked in his razor-sharp mind, lightning 
intellect. When we first got together, I figured going down to the Bijou Saturday 
afternoon to see Destination: Moon and Red Planet Mars was a farout time (still 
do); for him, it was off to the Biograph for The Maltese Falcon and The Big 
Sleep. He had wanted to be a detective on the NYPD ever since he could 
remember. Ever since I’ve known him personally he’s been unreal at solving shit, 
from any kind of puzzle to that time in junior high when he stumbled on the 
body of that kidnapped girl and picked out the clue that fingered the pathetic 
creep who did it. You gotta know that made him a local hero, especially in the 
precinct houses. 

Then ‘67 and ‘68, the love Haight of the psychedelicatessan for breakfast 
the early idealism of those cheery bleary Leary days of bummer, and Phil’s head, 
like everybody’s, was turned around pretty quick. You really couldn’t read the 
changes at first, he being as secretive as he was. But after that freshman year at 
Columbia, it was completed. He certainly possessed what Poe marked as the 

primary quality a detective must have, the analytic mind; that’s what got him in 
the school in the first place. But he was sensitive, too, and possessed intuition 
and poetic insight; these virtues, with the full light of iconoclasm cast on the 
American flag led to The Fall so many fell. And for both of us it was a mighty 
Pall; the sea of the city, adrift, the intellectual supreme, the justification of 
untamed vision, the nights, some cosmic ache. Then, the decadence, the well of 
Warhol (another Leo), the abyss. Then the big bust. It pains me to think; Phil 
tipped me off, I split out the fire escape at a run, something told me to stop and 
spy through the window. He just sat there and waited, not trying to flush 
anything (there was a little too much anyway), as the two dope squadders 
melodramatically broke the door down—two dope squadders and his old man 
right behind. And the two just stared, eye to eye; God, what a painful and 
endless moment. When I unroll the skein of my own existence in the afterdeath 
state, I'm gonna remember to get up and go to the bathroom when that segment 
comes on. Wow. 

Decisions were forced on a lot of people between Woodstock and Altamont. 1 
didn’t see a lot of Phil for a while. His father got him off with a strict two year 
probation; I still hung around with some of our dope smoking friends. He quit 


The A rchive 

using dope immediately, with him a phase was finished. It still took some 
months for the law of diminishing returns to imprint itself so plainly in my 
consciousness that this habit of being could be broken. I finally quit because the 
point had long been passed wherein the instrument of progression had become 
the obstructor. Phil just says he quit for spiritual reasons. He told me once in 
that period, “Al—there are three levels of the sign Scorpio: the Scorpion, the 
Lizard, and the Eagle. The era of confusion 1 have finished with is the last time I 
will ever allow myself to sink to the Lizard state again.” I had to believe the 

Which brings up a point. Phil has forgotten more about the nanscendental 
than I hever knew. No matter what I got into, he had been there first. He’s been 
into occult shit I think he just had to invent himself, its so damn obscure. I don’t 
know where he digs up some of those books he has. Under the heading 
“Religious Preference” he writes “Metaphysical Eclectic.” So it was a tough 
decision for him. He just couldn’t become another hippie piglet like Captain 
Pater wanted. It was the season after Mod Squad premiered, as if to add insult to 
injury. But he searched his spirit and decided to follow his karmic 
predetermination: he agreed to dive into the increasingly decadent hip 
community, attracting more maniacs and opportunists everyday, and pull out 
solutions for murders and other strictly non-hip acts. So after milling and 
pooting my life away for a space, I got it back together with him. We share an 
apartment near where they filmed Barefoot in the Park (avenue in Greenwich, 
where you are guaranteed a Mean Time) and we both go part-time at N.Y.U. 

Thank you who stuck it out through section II. I've always admired the great 
writers who can give all that background jive painlessly, so you may immediately 
plug me as no great writer. A trial to read, and no great thrill to write, either. Oh 
yeah, one more thing. On re-reading this section it must seem I have given this 
guy some James Bond hype. No, it’s not like that at all. But just think, y’all on 
down there, for a minute or two about the very best friend you have in the 
world. I said friend, not lover. You really don’t think about it much because so 
very much is a given in friendship, simply understood. Maybe if you sat down 
and really wrote about the very best friend you’ve got, it wouldn’t sound so very 
different from this. A friend is a beautiful gift; and some have gotten a chance to 
find out how much he or she can mean. My people, grapple them unto you with 
hoops of steel; the man spoke Truth. I guess I’d be embarrassed if he read this, 
sure; so would he. Ah, but that comes of being men and American. Women and 
men of other countries aren’t so neurotic about love and affection. Hinm. If I 
don’t end this section soon, you could use this page to wash dishes with. So. 


Lt. Friedman took the safe and us back with him to the precinct house. 
Traffic was a bitch. Captain Jenkins greeted his son with the cool and wary cop’s 
eye based on latter day experiences, tinged with a faded affection. The air at the 
station reeked of paper and stale people. 

Allen Jamison 


“Hello, Philip. I see you found your way to the remains of Omega House. 
Lieutenant. Keeping out of trouble, Al?” 

“Hi, Dad.” 

‘“Lo, Cap’n.” 

“How about it, Mr. Jenkins?” I just couldn’t bring myself to call a friend’s 
father “Captain,” especially one who looks like a serious fifty-year-old version of 
Soupy Sales. 

“Well? What have you got so far?” 

“Eight bodies, four male, three female for sure, the eigth probably female.” 
Often in explosion cases absolute i.d. is nearly impossible without resorting to 
dental work, etc.; of necessity the first reports are sketchy. “Miscellaneous 
military hardware, traces of every type of explosive excepit A-bombs, and this.” 
He pointed at the safe we had lugged in. 

“1 see. Have you got it open yet?” As soon as men get into any position of 
authority, they start expecting obviously impossible things from their 
subordinates. That way you start feeling rotten whenever you can’t get done 
what the boss wants, so it reinforces his superiority. 

“Uh, no...should 1 take it downstairs?’’ 

“No. There’s somebody over there who knows the combination.” 

As we turned, the door of an interrogation room swung open, and we were 
treated to a glimpse of a black woman of maybe twenty, raging eyes and 
composure obviously shredded by grief. Sgt. Rogers closed the door behind him 
and walked towards the group who stared at him. A child of the fifties, he was 
lodged in that peculiar generation between my parents and 1; like the other 
members of that silent and faceless era, he confronted the questions of life with 
wry, almost bitter, humor and an abiding cynicism that ran as deep as you could 
cut. Nevertheless, 1 am easily won over by dry wit, and have always gotten along 
well with Cancers—though once I got myself in a situation with Rogers which 
reinforced my observation that when you scrape a Cancer down to the very rind, 
beyond all vestiges of human games and beyond the outer limits of interpersonal 
comfort, there is a vision of the black void of Nothingness beyond the most 
frightening nightmares of the insecure child—or perhaps exactly like those. 
Witness Hermann Hesse, also a Cancer; remember Steppenwolfe? For him too, 
only humor stood between his existence and annihilation on the block of 
mediocrity that was Bourgeois society. 

“Ah, the ninth member of the commune,” Phil observed. “Has she given you 
her name yet?” 

“Yeh, ‘Fuck you. Pig;’ sound familiar?” 

“I recognize the surname, but I'm not too sure about that that Christian 
name.” My humor is peculiarly unappreciated at times like this. 

“Her name is Janet Johnson. She won’t know the combination, but let me 
talk to her anyway.” 

“Be my guest.” Rogers, like the rest of us, was only vaguely surprised by the 
scope of Phil’s familiarity. His sphere of influence rivalled even mine, and I know 
(at a conservative estimate) three thousand people by name. This case was 


The . 1 rchive 

different, however; Phil had had a black lady as a love for a while. He was one of 
those lucky few who was automatically accepted by the Black community 
without distrust. Scorpio rising. Also an intense and appealing strength that was 
quiet and unpretentious. Even when a brother learned who his old man was, it 
was cool somehow. Generally from Blacks I get one of those “Man, this Dude is 
Crazy. I was depressed in seeing Rogers so down. “I hope you have better luck 
than I did," he finished. 

Phil walked over to the door and opened it. “Hello, J.J.,” he said. 

“Aw, hey Phil.” She really lit up for a second. It was nice to see. Then she 
spied us staring dumbly at her, and then her mood changed in a nanosecond: 
“Oh, ! get it—you’re workin’ for them now.” I was going to yell out that / 
wasn’t any one of them-, but then again, what the hell: I’m just another dummy, 
a human spirit, we’re all in this together. 

“I know Bill was in that house, J.J. I just want to know who killed him.” I 
figured Bill must have been that black sleeping on the second story of the house. 
He was crushed and burned like most of the others, but his left leg was fairly 
intact, so you could see he was black. I found out later J.J. was his sister. This 
was the first inkling that Phil suspected some conscious foul intent instead of the 
open-and-shut munitions accident rapped out by Ossifer Friedman on the way 
back to the station. “You've got to help me find out.” We saw her break into 
sobs and bite her hand as the door slowly closed on the scene, the choked and 
muffled cries of mourning becoming more distant and hushed as the massive 
soundproof room closed itself off from us. 

We still stood there immobily, as we had done for the half minute since Phil 
had left our group. Lt. Friedman snapped us out of it: “O.K., so should I take it 
downstairs?” We all looked around, stunned but relieved at having the spell 
broken. I guess Rogers, the Captain, and I all shared that dizzying sensation of 
having been witness to an intensely archetypal moment. 

“Well, alright,” Capt. Jenkins said in his deliberate manner. "While you boys 
take this on downstairs, I’ll brief you on what we have so far.” He waited 

“Awright, Sergeant, give us a hand.” I was one of “us.” It took Friedman 
eighteen years to make sergeant’s rank; he got promoted up to lieutenant a 
couple of years ago when that killer held up a liquor store in Queens and shot 
four men. Friedman managed to gun down the character even though he took 
two slugs himself: he got a letter from the commissioner and a form sheet from 
the president, and a promotion. So he liked to throw his weight around to 
someone like Rogers, who got his rank after a couple of years studying “Police 
Science” (P.S. I Love You). 

Downstairs housed the old Security Division. Remember To Catch A Thief, 
the flick or the T.V. show? We had a situation something like that, a guy who’d 
been busted for his lock and safe work, and agreed to work for the city in return 
for a light sentence. He thought he was Alexander Mundi, but he looked like 
Willie “Fingers” Bailey, who, by some odd coincidence, he was. But he also was 
a stitch to watch. I mean to say, he was a true artist at his chosen trade, 
approaching the door of a safe as if he were about to unroll the Torah—a first 

Allen Jamison 


edition. So while 1 looked forward right off to Willie sliding into his act, that 
safe was a heavy bastard, and 1 wasn’t into listening to Jenkin’s lugubrious 
monotone while developing a hernia. The whole way down I couldn’t help 
thinking that this hunk of metal designed to surround money was built during 
that Pluto-in-Taurus late Victorian and early Edwardian period at the century’s 
turn, when being a millionaire was like being a god, and things were judged good 
according to their weight, dependability, and practical application. Women wore 



The Archive 

bustles and had huge bosoms to match this description; is it any wonder that 
Woman’s Liberation pressed forward most fervently then? I could imagine a 
generation of safe installers with hernias. It was the age of the truss, too, wasn’t 

Captain Jenkins, meanwhile, droned on: “Well, there was only that old lady 
on the house in the back who we’ve been able to question. She’s still in shock, 
but one of my men got a few details. There was an initial explosion of 
tremendous force, then a series of detonations, culminating in a burst of flame. 
Now this appears to indicate that one of the eight was setting the mechanism of 
a bomb involving a delicate detonator, perhaps the electric fuse of a plastic 
explosive, which fired, starting a chain reaction. How does that sound to you, 

“Yeh, unh-huh, at’s how I figure it. Hmph.” He was on the down side of the 
safe as we went downstairs, so he wasn’t in a particularly conversive mood. He 
was strong as an ox. Which reminded me (as I thought that) of Blake’s line “One 
Law for the Lion & Ox is Oppression;” and since it was the law that he had to 
carry this tonnage, I had every right to feel oppressed doing the same thing. 

“So as of yet, we haven’t been able to round up any other witnesses: but you 
can’t really expect anybody out at that hour of the morning in that 
neighborhood to be particularly cooperative. And while I would agree our 
assessment is accurate, Nick, Mrs. Ferguson told us one more thing which just 
doesn’t seem to tie in with the rest of the theory. Just before the first explosion, 
she heard an uncanny and frightening scream that lasted at least a full five 
seconds or more.” 

“That figures,” said jolly old Lt. Nick. “It seemed like some of those people 
had been alerted somehow. Maybe those in the basement or on the first story.” 
We were just turning into the Safe and Lock room as he said this; he had 
obviously gotten used to the weight by now. Meanwhile Rogers and I on the 
other end were about done in. 

As we finally set the thing on the counter, Rogers groaned and straightened 
out his spinal cord. It sounded like somebody playing a washboard, or I was 
having ear-hallucinations from the strain. “Just what the hell was the old lady 
doing up at five in the morning anyhow?” He was ragged for sure today. 

“Well,” began the Captain in his schoolteacherly tone, “she was kept up some 
nights suffering from her eye operation. The doctors do seem fairly optimistic 
that she can recover her vision. What do you think Al?” I was thinking that if he 
started one more sentence with “well” I’d dance out of there like Daffy Duck. 
I’d long ago given up saying “that’s a deep subject” when I noticed I had used it 
three times before the same day. It’s enough to drive you crazy, but you can’t 
just walk up to him like he had B.O. or enough dandruff to be Kilimanjaro and 
say, “I understand how difficult it must be to discuss your painful personal 
problem—starting every damned sentence with “well”—but have you heard 
about “Wellaway’?” So instead I said: “What do / think? I think I got out of a 
cool bed at 5:30 this morning to grovel through the scene of the gruesome death 
of eight people so I could carry a four hundred pound safe through a precinct 
house, just because your son is an acquaintance of mine. I also think that if I can 

Allen Jamison 


never dance again I’ll sue the city for a bundle.” 

Just then Phil popped in: ‘‘Come on. Al, you couldn’t be safer in your own 
bed.” I hate puns, unless I make them. In this case, it was kicking a man while he 
was down. “Sure, Al, you can play safety;” Willie bounded over to the table. It 
was Rogers who added insult to injury: “except in your case, Al, it’s the 
fail-safe.” “Will no one safe me from this,” I muttered. 

The good Captain obliged. “Another challenge in your professional career, 
‘Fingers’.” He took Dick Tracy seriously. 

Willie was genuinely insulted. You call this a challenge? Gimme rive 
minutes, one of them silent, and it’ll be opened.” As he went about preparing 
for his moment on stage, Phil and his father talked. 

“What do you have on the people in the house, Dad?” 

“Well, Phillip, we know nine men and women lived there on a fairly 
permanent basis. We had the place under surveillance purely because it was 
frequented by known drug users. Two of the men were linked with militant 
organizations, and one had a criminal record.” 

“Jerry Schmidt.” 

“Right. Well, I see that she talked after all.” 

“What do you have on him?” 

“Two counts of attempting to incite riots, and we suspected him of 
distributing Molotov Cocktails during that Columbia business.” His wince 
betrayed that the mention of the school touched a sore spot between the two. 

“Didn’t you still suspect him of working with explosives? There must have 
been other known revolutionaries going in and out. How else could the transfer 
of weaponry on that large a scale occur?” 

“Now, hold on a second there, Philip.” The Captain was very sensitive to 
charges of incompetency levelled at his men, even if only implied. “I had two of 
my best men on the case. No one went in or out of that house with any 
munitions, or anything other than grocery bags, except when this Schmidt 
scored hash, which he did maybe twice a week.” 

“You know who the dealer was.” 

“Sure, some Egyptian citizen going to school here. One of our undercover 
men purchased hash from him. He dealt very locally and very little, and since he 
was protected by diplomatic immunity, we let him alone. I’ll give you the 
address.” Those Bozos in the Vice Squad Narcotics Division who dressed like 

heepies and went around busting people were too much. Their trip was a Mod 
Squad thing (“These kids can get into places WE CAN’T”), and they dressed to 
suit the bill. They’re pathetically easy to spot. 1 never figured out whether it was 
the red polka-dotted v-neck shirts with buttons bearing a hand marked the peace 
sign or those wigs. They’d come on with “Hey, man, let’s smoke some Dope 
They were the only figures allowed legally by society to get stoned, and they 
acted like it. The abuses of their power are legend in underground circles. So I 
was immediately suspicious. 

So was Phil, and our eyes met for a second. “You mean to say,” he 
continued, “that you never searched their cars or got reports of any recurring 


The A rchive 

“No, not that at all. We had the car searched at night maybe three times. 
They only had one communal car, a maroon 1959 Oldsmobile. One character 
came by maybe once a week, and that was one of those Krishna people asking 
for money. Every time somebody with a charity gimmick came by, they’d give 
money. But this Krishna character apparently figured them for an easy mark and 
kept coming on back. Other than that, they led a quiet and straight kind of life. 
So we had no reason to suspect anything other than a bunch of pot parties and 
free love went on inside.” 

The generation gap became painfully obvious at times like that. Fortunately, 
Willie was ready for his minute of silence, in memorium for a late, great, 
uncracked safe. He’s too much. Sandpaper on the fingers, stethoscope, the whole 
bit. He glowered at Friedman, who was shuffling his feet, then leaned into the 
work. True to his word, one minute later we were staring at the contents of the 
safe: two bowls for hookahs, of an obviously high quality, to coin a phrase; 
assorted blasting caps and detonators each carefully wrapped and sealed off; and 
then, and mostly these, were an odd assortment of huge bohunks of hash: it was 
like a Whitman’s Sampler for hash heads. Phil walked over to get a closer look. 

“May 1?’’, he inquired in that abstract tone which meant his mind was 
somewhere whizzing past Betelgeuse III. 

"Don’t touch those caps or those two funnels, we’ll need them for prints.” I 
could see the free association in the Captain’s mind between any drug use and 
where it would eventually lead. But fortunately, unlike Friedman in his moral 
sense, he was incapable of connecting the find with the phrase “getting one’s 
mind blown.” 

“No, I jiqst want to examine the hash. You ever see anything like these round 
chunks, A1?” 

“Y’know, I remember seeing some old silent film taken in Turkey a couple of 
years ago. These dudes were sitting in some tent around a huge hookah with 
water running through it and four or five hoses; it must have been seven feet tall. 
And there was a hunk of hash the size of a baseball sitting up on top with smoke 
pouring out like a steam engine. You ever see anything like that?” Gads, 1 was 
stoned at the time, watching some late night newsreel trip. This was like a 
half-pound of hash at a throw, too. 

“Umm. These thin bricks are Number One grade Afghani hash; the rolled 
balls appear to be Lebanese, I’m not sure.” 

“What does the ‘Number One’ refer to, Philip?” Captain Jenkins was learning 
to become a little less uneasy when Phil displayed his erudition. 

“There are seven grades of hash in Afghanistan, stamped according to quality 
and priced accordingly. This is Number One, the very best. Usually the best that 
gets out of the country to America is maybe Four or Five; to get this would 
require money or contacts.” 

“You mean like a Palestinian guerilla-type organization, they feed his habit if 
he performs terrorist acts in the U.S.?” Brilliant exercise in logical reasoning, I 

“I dunno. Maybe.” That means “you are a sounding board for my genius, and 
your idea was considered and rejected two minutes ago.” 

Allen Jamison 


“What do we do with the girl, Philip, this J.J.?” 

“You have to let her go, there’s no charge against her. Have her tailed. She’ll 
probably go to this Egyptian dealer’s house. Also, let me have a radio car for 
today and let me take a few samples of this hash.” 

“That’s a lot of contraband to carry around. Well, alright; you have until 
tonight at eight, then you have to check back in.” Captain Jenkins had learned 
to trust implicitly his son’s requests in the past eighteen or so months; Phil had 
more than proved himself. Still, it was a mighty pill to swallow to allow his son 
the very stuff which alienated the two from each other; I flashed back for a 
painful moment to the bust... 

“I’m for coffee and doughnuts. How does that sound?” Ah, Ossifer Friedman 
came through again. 

“I’m all over you, lewd-tenant.” Everyone echoed my sentiments, and began 
to file out of the room. Phil got some baggies for the hash, and I went ahead and 
followed the group out. Just as I got to the outer door, he called me back. I 
went back, slightly peeved: the idea of something as down to earth as coffee and 
doughnuts, of all plastic things, was super appealing after the death-filled early 
morning I’d just spent. 

“Here, Al. Take a close look at this hashball. See anything odd?” It was 
uniformly brown, burnette-colored, pungent, probably hand-rolled while still 
malleable. Nothing odd. “Now look at this one, and this one, too. What is the 
difference between these two and the first one?” 

“Wow, that is odd. There seems to be a line, like an equator between the two 
hemispheres. Coarser surface, finger indentations, lack of uniform color. And if I 

start seeing continents and seas, I’ll know just how succeptible I am to a contact 
high. You coming? 

“No, you go ahead. I’ll come up in a second.” 

As I left him and walked out into the hall, I suddenly felt just how spaced out 
I really was. I’m just too sensitive for this kind of work, it really takes its toll. As 
I trudged upstairs to the lounge, I happened to glance at the clock. Shit man, it 
was only 8:41 in the morning. It had already been a long day; I felt achey all 
over and kind of hollow, that weary general agony, what the commercial called 
the blahs. It had been one of the strangest days I had ever spent; and as I turned 
the comer to begin the last flight of stairs before the second floor, I looked up 
the staircase to the pale green door half-propped open by one of those old weird 
rubber things that serves only one purpose which is propping open doors; and I 
instantly realized that the insane strangeness of this day had just barely, barely, 
barely begun. 

Editor s note: This is part one of a two-part story. The conclusion will appear in 
the spring Archive. 


Ezra Stiles 


when tree-toed toads told three-toed sloths seven silky talcs, 
we thought our way through parallels not thoroughly pointless, 
it wasn’t then, though, that we wallowed, 
wasn't then that we followed 
warning with warring: 

french-fried foreigners screaming sans friendly firefighters 
in hole-hollowed homes across the sea- 
deja s’est passe? 

no, not then the execrable excuses, oozing and soothing, weary and worn, 
that was theirs until thereafter 
ours was farther, refracted. 

no: when tree-toed toads told three-toed sloths seven silky tales, 
we sat, smiling, and listened. 




The dancer appeared. 

But whether or not he was prepared. 
It was time, 

His partner was there, unwaiting 

On the set stage 

For unrehearsed steps.-- 


In movement put a terrible confusion 
To mute faces held 

In the moods of dance. 


But while the spun partner 
Smiled, or lowered her eyes, 

And he leapt, or lowered his head, 
Whether swung close or apart. 

The lights kept on; 

And they were the dancers. 


Mary must have felt the strangeness. 
Her life had intertwined with his 
From the first night’s annunciation. 

In all the years since then 
There had been much to wonder at, 
Though at times she could almost 
Forget the miracles. Now she knew 
Her son was not just her son 
Hanging at the meeting point 
Between reality and the noncreation. 

Dark, formless, grey plains. 

Not the void before the stars were lit; 
A deeper darkness, which only he 
Had seen, always a part of him 
Where he was alone with death. 

He would reject this place 
Breaking its power and terror; 

Already light edged in, anxiously 
Peering through die gloom behind him 
Awaiting an Easter’s dawn. 

Andy Hicks 



Donna Landry 


The wind is an ostrich boa 
against pale skin. 

I stride through trees 

in my jacket (of the padded shoulders) 
noticing leaves 
dry as 

laxative applause. 

from every bad poetry reading I’ve ever heard (and 
even two of the good ones). 

I step over a tree root and find a man. 

Under the left of my hobnailed feet I see a man. 

I raise my foot and free a professor. An interloper. 
An interloping professor. 

The bored orgy 
around my neck 

and no taste to my lips, 

I slip past, 
my throat closing 
and jacketlcss 
hut ready to confess. 


Tom House 


have all Controls collapsed? 
Demons strap me to the Wall 
and force me to admire them, 
they paint my Face on Mirrors, 
they stroke my Body as i struggle, 
this, they tell me, is Love. 

the Women call upon me 
and expect my best Behavior, 
anticipating my Habits 
to be civilized, at least, 
i fool them. 

Pauline swallows her Fingers; 
likewise, i swallow mine, 
snaggle-toothed and arc-eyed, 
their Passports in their Laps, 
the Women lean to Privilege. 


i cross one Leg over the Other. 



i am no more Fluid now than then, 
my Thoughts become solid 
Chunks in my Mouth, 
i am too heavily into Parentheses 
and the Perfume of the Capsules, 
i am Drunk, Day and Night, 
i no longer consider the Jewels 

Pauline could explain it. 
she knew Everything about me. 
she was with me on the Wall, 
she was with me under the Micro¬ 

she was even with me 
on the last Night of the Decade 
when i slit the protective 
Casing (with a madman’s, vague 

and split my Eyes onto the 

with a cold and empty Laughter. 



Bill Marquess 

I am not a seed, a leaf, 
or strand of grass, 

And you are not a star. 

Tonight I read an old romance; 

I pictured you as her. 

And I know more and more 

that poems are a lonely pass 
And she is very far 
From here 
And she is ever far; 

And yet I pictured you as her 

and you in fleeting moments were 
And yet were not a star; 

And I am not a strand of grass 
And she is very far. 

N.P. Gilliland 


Conceptions of Debra cruise through my mind 
Like so many elk in a stream, 

Their eyes and their antlers all clearly defined, 

But their substance as vague as a dream. 

And I constantly wonder what time will reveal- 
How the deer will emerge from the deep- 
Will they vanish in sunlight like something unreal, 
Or come graze on the grass where I sleep? 



Tyler , Anne The Clock Winder. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972. 312 pp. 

People who need people are not always the luckiest people in the world: 
people who need people to need them may be worse off yet. Such are the 
separate but equally important themes which Anne Tyler (Duke, 1960) explores 
in her latest novel, The Clock Winder. This novel examines the effect a young 
college student has on the wealthy but stagnating Emerson family with whom 
she spends a year. In doing so, it poses the question of what our real motives are 
when we reach out to help someone. Are those people who make it a poiqt to be 
there when you need them—who offer counseling and cookies when you’re 
down—really doing this out of concern or out of their need to see themselves in 
a certain light? Tyler has no ready answers — does anyone? — but her ways of 
posing the question are both original and provocative. 

Elizabeth Abbott comes to work for the Emerson family in the fall of 1960, 
when she is twenty years old. Hardly a femme fatale , she is described as being 
lanky and flat chested with her good points being her “calmness and silence and 
the neat twists of her hands as she fixes chairs.” Elizabeth has been hired as a 
handyman (handyperson?) and she refuses to do housework out of fears she will 
become just a maid. Elizabeth fixes chairs and faucets: for a time it seems that 
she can fix lives as well. Mrs. Emerson, the aging matriarch, finds her 
indispensable while two of the sons, Matthew and Timothy, compete for her 
attention, aid, and—eventually—love. Only when tragedy strikes in the form of 
Timothy’s suicide does Elizabeth, if not the rest of the family, come to realize 
the presumptiousness of anyone trying to be an emotional handyman as well. 

Despite the seeming somberness of the topic, the novel combines comic 
details with tragedy in a fashion reminiscent of Wcity. At Timothy’s funeral, for 
example, Tyler describes the chief mood of as being one of irritation. “All over 
Matthew’s pew,” Tyler writes, “exasperated jerks traveled like ripples. Margaret 
tore triangles out off the pages of her hymnbook until Melissa slammed it shut. 
Matthew shoved his glasses higher for the dozenth time anti received another jab 
in the side.” Even the minister, at this irreverent and quiet believable funeral, is 

Tyler’s talent for creating memorable and quite lively scenes becomes evident 
throughout the book. One vivid instance is Elizabeth’s wedding where Elizabeth 
does what most of us have dreamed of seeing, if not doing,: she says “no” at the 
altar. Escaping from the church with one of the Emerson daughters, she says, 
“Well, shoot, Margaret, it’s the weddings you cry at, not the escapes from 

Tyler’s ability to avoid sloppy sentiment is commendable. She pulls off sticky 
scenes—Mrs. Emerson having a stroke while one of her daughters, unknowing, 
quarrels with her over the telephone—so sternly that your heart strings remain 


firmly in place. Perhaps Tyler is a little too cool, for, in the end, you find that 
while you’re interested you don’t really care very much about what happens to 
her perturbed and, with the exception of Elizabeth, plantive characters who 
don’t quite seem to make contact with each other. 

Still, The Clock Winder remains an interesting and unified work. It seems to 
be one of the more skillful of recent novels in examing why, when we reach out 
for each other with the best of intentions, we mess each other up so badly. 

Eve Silberman 

Chappell, Fred The Gaudy Place. New York Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973. 
191 pp. 

The American novelist is renowned for his excesses. Whether or not the 
aspirants point to the left field bleachers and publicly announce, a la Norman 
Mailer, that they intend to hit the long ball, most try. The consistent result is 
big, formless and predictably pretentious. American writers have, as Walker 
Percy said, “a kind of metaphysical omnivorousness. American novels tend to be 
about everything.” 

A novel, then, that is well-written, tight and perceptive is refreshing. It speaks 
clearly and more successfully to us than those peers that wallow in their own 
profundities. The Gaudy Place by Fred Chappell (Duke 1957) is an example. 

A short book (less than 200 pages) The Gaudy Place develops its story 
through five points of view. Five shifting perspectives that alternate between 
intimate and tangential relationships. 

Arkie, a 14-year-old waif and accomplished con-, Clemmie, at 19 three years a 
whore; and Oxie, a Greek pimp with ambitions beyond his station, present the 
“gaudy place.” Linn Harper, a high school senior, reads science fiction, 
Steinbeck and “Camoos.” He and his father provide the occasion of the 
interaction between the comfortable southern town and its underside. 

Gimlet Street is the place, a honky tonk and juke section of Braceboro, N.C. 
Its character emerges with the individuals and those it touches as Gimlet spills 
into respectable Braceboro. 

This is the South and Chappell is a Southerner but the book is light-free from 
the convolutions and ponderous burdens that have apparently been the southern 
writer’s heritage from the last generation. The prose is clean, terse at times, and 
precisely compatible with a plot that must wind delicately through a structure 
built around characterization. 

Chappel captures the flavor and sense of place that is in the finest tradition of 
the Southern novel without conceding the artifical and obvious debt to style. 
The Gaudy Place is deftly constructed, the characters work, and there is only a 
hint of the academican. This is not the “Great American Novel” and was not 
intended to be. It is however, an attendent lord of the first order. 

Austin Triggs 

the department of english 

and the archive 

are pleased to announce the appearance of 


author of i a separate peace’ 

at duke 

november 26 — 30 

Mr. Knowles will meet with individuals and small groups during the week to 
discuss student writing. He will also give a lecture open to the entire university 


Notes on Contributors 

SHEILA REBECCA ADAMS is a native Durhamite. 

T. L. ANONYMOUS is anonymous. 

SAM ATLEE, a 1973 Duke graduate, is now serving with the Peace Corps in 
Tunisia. “Just the Whites of His Eyes” won first place in last year’s Anne 
Flexner contest. 

SUZANNE AUSTNIT is a freshperson from New York City who says, “Yeats 
and Eliot are all there is. ” 

J.B. is a semi-loser from the Deep South. 

JANE BERLIN, an Art major, is studying under Vernon Pratt this year. 

PETER BURIAN is a professor of classical studies at Duke. 

jay McPherson cheesman lives in Bahama, N.C. and is a graduate student 

in Gertnan. 

JULIAN CHESTNY is an escapee. 

JANICE DUFF served as art editor of the A rchive in 1961-62. 

JAMES DUNBAR, a graduate of Colgate University, is studying for his masters 
degree in English at Duke. 

MIKE ELLSWORTH is a 19 73 graduate now living in Durham. “Nostalgia Land ” 
won second place in the 1973 Academy of American Poets competition. 
FARLEY GIBSON loves yogurt and hiking. 

N.P. GILLILAND’S poetry appeared in last year's Archives. 

ALFRED STARR HAMILTON, a 58-year-old poet living in Montclair, New 
Jersey, has published in previous Archives. He is the author of The Poems of 
Alfred Starr Hamilton, published in 1970 by the Jargon Society. 

ANDY HICKS, from West Virginia, writes poetry and music. 

WINNIE HINSON is an artist and doodler from Florida. 

TOM HOUSE has been published in previous Archives. 

ALLEN JAMISON sent this story from his home, New York City. He is reputed 
to have played a role in the violence at Columbia University in 1968. 

H. K. remains hidden. 

DONNA LANDRY is a sophomore English major studying creative writing under 
James Applewhite. 

LEE LOURDEAUX, a senior English major from San Francisco, has been 
published in west coast reviews. 

L. M. is unknown to all but one. 

D. H. MADSEN, a member of the Duke community since 1966, has been 
published in previous Archives. He is a graduate student in French. 

BILL MARQUESS, junior, is “still imitating” but getting better all the time. 

The Archive 


PAT McNELLIS is a sophomore and poetry editor of the Archive studying 
creative writing u nder James Applewhite. 

STEVE MILLER is a 19 73 graduate living in Durham. 

JAMES R. B. NASHHOLD is studying creative writing under Reynolds Price. 
STEPHEN SELBY is a senior English major studying creative writing under 
Gerald Monsman. 

HELEN SMITH, a native of Durham, is a senior Art major. 

JOHN STEVENSON is a history major studying creative writing under Gerald 
Monsman. “Four Poems ” won first place in the 1973 Academy of American 
Poets competition. 

EZRA STILES incognito. 

SUSAN TIFFT is a 1973 graduate who is currently editor of the Institute of 
Policy Sciences and Public Affairs newsletter. 

PETER TRIAS, a member of Reynolds Price’s creative writing class, is a student 
at U.N.C. 

COREY WALKER comes from Manhasset, New York, and is a senior Art major. 
WIMPY is a lost soul. 

TIM WESTMORELAND, a sophomore from Blowing Rock, N.C., is a merry 

The uncredited print appearing on page one of the Spring, 1973 Archive was 
done by Melinda Cowen. 


Nov. 10, 1 1 

6 & 9 pm 


Nov. 17, 18 

7 & 9:1 5 pm 


Nov. 25 

7 & 9 pm 


Dec. 1,2 

7 & 9:30 pm 


Dec. 8, 9 

7 & 9:30 pm 


Dec. 15,16 

7 & 9:15 pm 


Dec. 17 

7 & 9 pm 


Dec. 18 

7 & 9 pm 


Dec. 19 

7 & 9:30 pm 


Sun., Jan 1 3 

7 & 9:30 pm 


Duke University Stores 

• Duke University Store 

• East Campus Store 

• Duke University Bookstore 

• Duke University Vending Service 







|0 w 

!h aovN 0 









Thousands of hardcovers, 
quality paperbacks, 
and foreign magazines. 



University Square 

open every day 


The Blue 
and White 

A great variety of 
foods for every 


The Oak 

Waitress service 

A la Carte Menu 

Many other fine foods 







|g\ ^ Jm 

Inn serve you 

■ : v. : - . 

Special meals 

at all times 


Duke University Dining Halls 


Alfred Starr Hamilton 
41 South -Tillow St. 
I'ontclair, F. J. 

Oct. 16, 1973 

Dear Editors; 

That I am free. That I 
am immune. That I am immune from all 
Church beliefs. That I am immune from 
all forms of criminology. That I am 
immune everywhere else too. That I am free. 


uhnersiw UBRMSf 

MAY 2 H* 

v.86,no.2,1974 bound separately because of format 




^ /• 

Editor, John Allen Stevenson 
Poetry Editor, Donald Slowik 
Prose Editor, Austin Triggs 
Art Editor, Holly Brubach 
Layout Editor, Georgann Eubanks 

Editorial Assistants 

Jeff Haring Donna Landry 
Tim Westmoreland 

Art Assistant, Sally Donnell 

Poetry Committee 

Susan Allison Florrie Funk 
Ed Harrison Lee Lourdeaux 
Tom Noland 

Prose Committee 

Janice Farrell Jim McIntosh 
Helen Moffett Bill Pauley 
Ira Sandron Eve Silberman 


SPRING 1974 

A magazine of the literary and visual arts published by the students of Duke, 
University, Durham, North Carolina. All material copyright, 1974, by The Archive. 



Robyn Underdahl, Gains and Losses .8 

David Mangum, The Gypsy and the Rake .16 

Eve Silberman, Tennis .26 

Stephen Rojac, The Stalls .45 

Allen Jameson, Case Number Four (Conclusion) .59 


Denise Levertov, Knowing the Unknown .5 

Herman Salinger, Mahler Tenth .6 

Lee Lourdeaux, My Rose .7 

Florrie Funk, Three Poems .12 

Donald Slowik, He Wishes His Beloved Were A Radio .22 

Jeffrey David Talmadge, Autumn in South Texas, 1963 . 23 

Jim Krailler, Campfire at Blackwater Falls .24 

James Applewhite, William Blackburn, Riding Westward .32 

Julie Ross, Laughing Woman is Gone for Good .34 

Donna Landry, Six Poems .36 

Peter Klappert, Two Poems .41 

C. X. Kee, Les 105 Canons .42 

Louis Auld, Laus Horizontalitatis .43 

Mark Winges, Beginnings .44 

Tom House, the sons of attis and i .54 

Georgann Eubanks, A Portrait of Poverty ■■ Mea Culpa? .56 

Rick Stansberger, Boy Presumed Dr owned in Lake Superior .70 

Alfred Starr Hamilton, Violet .71 

Claudia March Wischner, Two Poerns .72 

Tim Westmoreland, Two Poems .73 

Charles J. Mathews, Tom Kale .74 

John Stevenson, Ariel’s Lie-. The Fading .75 

Jay Dunbar, Abbots Ford (home of Sir Walter Scott) .76 

Brooke Davis Hamada Bowl .77 

Dallas Newsom, God Give Us Men .78 


Betsy Elkins, Nude .4 

Buzz Fong, Pencil Sharpener .11 

Helen Smith, Charcoal Study .31 

Steve Miller, Swirls .35 

Buzz Fong, pen and ink .58 

Sally Donnell, charcoal .69 

Valerie Trofatter, Etching .79 



Denise Levertov 

Knowing The Unknown 

Our trouble 

is only the trouble anyone, 
all of us, thrust from the ancient 
holding-patterns, down towards 
runways newbuilt, 
knows; the strain 

of flying wing by wing, not knowing 
ever if both of us will land: the planet 
under the clouds— 

does it want us? Shall we be welcome, 
we of air, of metallic 
bitter rainbows, 

of aching wings? Can we dissolve 
like coins of hail, 
touching down, 

down to the dense, preoccupied, 
skeptical green world, that does not know us? 




Mahler Tenth 

Hangs the thin thread 
the most immortal 
spiderweb hangs and spins 
on prongs of pain. 

While the pain comes 
comes the refrain 
and what is dead 
can nevermore be dead 
but will hang dying. 
Forever death comes 
flying, flying 
on muted kettle drums. 

My Rose 

Beaded in sweat my rose 
survives the burning sun 
by drooping slowly lower 
stroking the ground 
with each heat wind of blows. 

The petal tips obey 
the unseen air, brushing 
earth in scarlet stains 
of sweat trickling 
to subterranean bays: 

thickening pools of red 
cool in lightless caverns 
and melt with walls of carbon; 

rock veins then draw 
the liquid to loam overhead. 

So the roses are drained 
in soil white dry from sun-beat; 
blood color pulses from blooms 
then white-ash pure 
they rise to the sun in flames. 

Lee Lourdeaux 

Robyn Underdahl 

Gains and Losses 

Karl McKenna had been born on Christmas Day and he was God’s gift to the 
world. An only child, his parents should have counted themselves lucky that he 
was still living with them at twenty-four. Who would take out the garbage if he 
weren’t there? Or more importantly, who would fill the house with the voices of 
the young and healthy in the evenings? Who would drive out the thin silence 
draped over the rooms by the old? 

His mother complained of beer cans and ashes. “This isn’t a fraternity house 
in Denver, Karl. You’ve been home for two years now and you’re still trying to 
live like a college student.’’ 

“I don’t consider myself over the hill quite yet, Mom.” 

“Well, you’re heading straight downhill. You talk about Harve Murphy being 
a drunkard—take a look at yourself, Karl. It just isn’t the best way to start out in 
life, that’s all.” 

“Look, Mom, I’m assistant manager of the Winona branch. What more could 
you hope for in two years?” 

At this point her full lips would be drawn into a tight grim line and she would 
be glaring at his sulking face. He would look out the window and breathe 
thickly. The kitchen was always stuffy when she was in it. 

Fortunately his father left him alone except for occasional disappointed 

“Why don’t you dress decently, Karl? A tie wouldn’t strangle you. I’d never 
hire a guy like you. You always dress like a slob.” 

He had considered leaving home. But his pittance of a salary would never 
support a car and room and board all at once. And he couldn’t be without 
wheels—that was out of the question. No, the elegant ranch-style house by the 
golf course would have to do for now, even if it were cohabited by his parents. 

But tonight they ate in silence. No one ventured an argument. They had told 
him about Uncle Lloyd when he got home and asked him not to decide 
immediately. Think about it, they said. Karl forced himself to eat two pork 
chops. Mrs. McKenna strove to keep up the pleasant-table-atmosphere she so 
often lectured about to her husband and son. 

“Gracious, what a blizzard! They’ll surely have to call off elementary school 


“I hate to compliment myself, but these chops are delicious! Have another 
one, Karl.” 

Robyn Underdabl 


It was mid-January, about zero degrees. Since three o’clock the river valley 
from Lake City to La Crosse had been trapped under thick, white snow clouds, 
pouring themselves out over the frozen river and its towns. From the picture 
window the McKennas could not see the row of blue spruces in the front yard, 
let alone the seventh tee, or the sunset. But by now it was dark and Mrs. 
McKenna had finished chewing her last bite. Karl excused himself and put on his 
shearling coat. 

“When Mike calls, tell him I’ve gone.” 

“Well, where shall I tell him?” 

“Don’t tell him anywhere.” Karl wound a woolen muffler around his neck 
and stuffed his gloves and stocking into his pockets. 

The snow swept across his face, soothing and cool. He slide into his beloved 
240-Z and felt for the lights. The knob was out. Shit. Battery dead. Damn 
blizzard—he could never remember to turn the lights off in the daytime. 

Karl slammed shut his car door. “Dad!” He stomped toward the house and 
halted a few steps short. Ask his father for the car? Pulling on his gloves, he was 
glad for the privacy the blizzard afforded—it had muffled his shouting. He didn’t 
want to ask his father. It was pleasant out here. How stupid of him to have left 
his lights on. Yet perhaps a walk would clear his thoughts. 

The snow devoured the golf course. Karl half walked, half slid down the hill. 
When the ground leveled off he knew he was on the fairway of six. Already the 
snow was more than a foot deep. Lifting his feet high for every step he moved 
down the fairway, a small figure lost in the whirling snow. 

“Your Uncle Lloyd is very sick, Karl. You have his blood-type.” 

If a man will sue thee at the law and take away the kidney, let him have thy 
heart also. And thy liver and thy brain and guts. 

“You mean he wants it? kidney?” 

The dark curls of his hair were filled with snow. Hit the basket—hit the 
rim—Come on Karl—drop it in! Karl McKenna: Athlete of the Year, and not 
even a senior. In college too, he had played basketball and hockey. An 
indispensable member of the team, Coach Kenny had said. He didn’t even flinch 
that year when the coach threatened to “clean out.’ the team. Kick off all the 
useless members. The year before he had dreamed of being cast into the outer 
darkness where unprofitable members wept and gnashed their teeth. And Jesus 
was standing over him with his whistle, throwing basketballs at his face. 

Karl chuckled silently into the wind. He had been so shy then. Even afraid to 
ask Vicki Kowalcek to Prom. Later he wasn’t so hesitant. Any girl would go, he 
knew. And he dated them all. 

“You need a girlfriend, Karl.” 

“Cut the crap, Mother. When I want to get married I will.” 

“Well who are those girls that come over with your friends?” 

“Oh just different girls.” 

“Why don’t you start dating one of them?” 

“I’m not interested. Mom.” 

“Why are they here, then? Where do you meet them?” 

“They’re just girls we meet at Four Queens and bring home for some fun.” 


The Archive 

“1 guess all the nice girls your age are already engaged. Why don’t you call up 

“Lay off, Mom.” 

Karl dragged himself up the steep hill to the tee. From here he could 
normally see the club house, most of the course, and a number of the 
surrounding houses, his own included. Tonight he saw only snow, suprisingly 
white in the darkness. 

“Karl, you certainly don’t have to give him one. Everyone would 

Cut it out, Mom. Please don’t make me. I need my kidneys. I want both. 
Uncle Lloyd. A fat man with no ability in business. Karl said nothing. Christ 
before Pilate. How could he defend his feelings? What are you, chicken? Makes 
me sick! Weak and absurd like Christ before Pilate. He bumped into something 
with his foot. 

Karl headed down to where he knew the bridge to be. It was an advantage to 
know the course so well, whether playing golf, walking with some chick, or 
wandering in a snowstorm. If only he could walk on snow without sinking down 
with each step. Hey, Jesus, what was your trick on the water? Karl snickered at 
the thought of some guy sliding all over the water on pontoon shoes. His feet 
sank still more deeply with each step. Heavily, achingly his legs carried him, 
leaving the house-by-the-golf-course further and further behind. 

Once he had had his appendix removed. If the appendix offend thee, pluck it 
out. The hospital was very white and cold and he had screamed in pain. Mrs. 
Bareel, the Sunday school teacher had come. “God bless you,” she said. A 
Byzantine Christ with paint peeling off his face stared a two fingered blessing at 
him from the card. 

His ears were numb. Taking the wool cap from his pocket he shook the clots 
of snow from his hair and pulled it down over his ears. Crossing the ninth green 
he climbed up to the road. The snow was slacking off. For ten or fifteen feet 
ahead he could see the road, distinguishable only as a path between rows of 
trees. Two feet of drifted snow erased all signs of pavement. 

Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Clara sometimes had Thanksgiving at their house. 
Swimming in gravy and smothered under cranberry sauce, Uncle Lloyd would 
eat two or three servings of turkey. No wonder his kidneys gave out! Karl 
laughed. The tightness in his abdomen remained. A clean silver knife would slice 
a fine straight line across his lower back. Right or left? Whichever you prefer. If 
a man smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also. Forget it. If any 
man will come after me, let him take up his cross and...Better luck next time, 

An edge of the full moon peered through an opening in the clouds. Exhausted 
and empty, the clouds were floating rapidly south. Karl inhaled the crisp 
January air. The road waited for him, visible now until swallowed by a curve. A 
long, white bed of snow where no feet had gone before. If he followed it he 
would come to the house in which his parents lived. They would be waiting for 

Robyn Underdabl 


“Have you decided, Karl?” She would try to smile. Have you decided to give 
my brother your kidney? Or shall he die? 

The arrangements would be already made. The nurses would be ready with 
needles and towels. The doctors would salute him, knives in hand. A 

clean-sheeted hospital bed would be waiting for him. Perhaps the room next to 
Uncle Lloyd. 

Karl shook as the cold penetrated his legs. He turned from the moon, now 
fully in sight, to go the other way. His own shadow preceeded him, tall and 
foreboding. The sky was clear and the air grew colder by the minute—probably 
1 5 below now. 

Surveying the stars he turned round. Behind him, Orion hung low in the sky 
over the moonlit road. Karl remembered how once on a lonely road across a 
desolate plain a tall lean man walked with sad eyes turned upward. A great city 
lay in the distance, and beyond the city walls, a hill. Won’t you let this cup pass 
from me? 

Karl’s footfalls made no sound as he followed the road home. Behind him 
came his shadow and, he was almost certain, one whose shoes he was not worthy 
to unlace. 



Three poems 


Woman-child, woman-child, why did you go 
From the table your mama had spread? 

And violet-eyed woman-child, where have you gone 
Leaving yet smooth your own quilted bed? 

I went for a walk out beyond the blue streetlamps 
To think of my future alone; 

And I passed by the churchyard and stood by the river, 
Where the mist is so still on the quick-moving river, 

And 1 thought of my future alone. 

But woman-child, woman-child, why did you stay 
From the table your mama had spread? 

And violet-eyed woman-child, where do you sleep 
Now you never come home to your bed? 



Well, while I stood thinking beyond the blue streetlamps, 

And feeling quite cold and alone, 

I heard in the moonlight a warm, warm voice, 

Where the mist lay so still on the quick-moving river. 

It asked me could I be alone. 

And 1 was alone and so cold in the moonlight, 

So I answered it, yes, I’m alone. 

And the voice was a man’s and he said, walk with me 
Where the mist is so still on the quick-moving river, 

If you would not walk here alone. 

So we walked in the night out beyond the blue streetlamps 
And thought of no future alone; 

For his voice seemed as warm as my own mama’s table. 

Though we walked where the mist lay so chill on the river, 

We spoke of no futures alone. 

When the sunlight awoke and blinked out the blue streetlamps, 
I lay in the churchyard alone. 

Though his voice was so warm, yet his hands, they were cold, 
And he touched me like mist on the quick-moving river, 

Then vanished and left me alone. 

So. woman-child, woman-child, there you will stay 
From the table your mama had spread, 

And violet-eyed woman-child, there you will sleep 
And will never come home to your bed. 


November morning in your shadow-cluttered room 
And outside, the wind is scattering the leaves 
Of a still warm morning lying in the leaves, 

Still breathing deeply scattering the leaves 
With her cooling, drowsing breath. 

And you and I in your sleep-rumpled bed 
Have touched like the leaves 
Blown together through the doorsill 

By the heavy-breathed lady still resting from the summer 
The hot-bodied summer, who is now moved on. 

I pull the blanket up across my breast 

And the wind stirs again the leaves against the pane, 

So 1 kiss your shoulder and you touch my hair 

And the touch speaks nothing of the hot-bodied summer 

Against the window the breath stired leaves 

Scatter their shadows across your room, 

And our lips touch like the shadows. 


In the warm dark corners of the winter months, 

In the silence-secret places where no one looked, 

No one knew, something grew, 

And unfurled its tender leaves 
In the full moonlight 
And spread its fragile roots 
Through the long silver nights 

And a little patch of certainty was woven in the soil 
Of the long-eroded wasteland of the heart. 

In spring, on sweet liquid evenings and opal dawns, 

Beside open windows and clear water, 

Flowers formed, sapid, warmed 
By rays of common ken. 

And the roots took hold 
Through the timid floors and arches 
Of an underground soul. 

But subtly as the seasons change and silent as the soil, 

A hollowness replaced the pith, the sense. 

So now beneath the sweat of summer rain 
And under drought of loveless passion’s breath, 

The pettals fall, the new leaves all 
Are folded on the stem, 

Dried by the empty stain 
And fallen to the mould 
Of gentle melancholy pain. 

But deeper than this emptiness, untouched by drought or storm 
The roots will hold, a strength of soul made sure. 


David Mangum 

The Gypsy and the Rake 

The day of Betty and Bill’s first wedding anniversary was a Saturday and Bill 
had to work until noon, which left Betty just enough time to straighten the 
house, finish her gown, and get sandwiches on the table before Bill blew in, 
redfaced—from what, he wouldn’t say, though Betty knew that he must have 
had another row with his boss and she sympathized, SHE SYMPATHIZED!—but 
it was disgusting that it had to come today of all days when she had so hoped 
that they could just forget all that and just go out like they used to, she in her 
new gown on which she had worked in secret now for a whole month and he in 
his suit for which they had scrimped and saved, the first really big, not totally 
necessary thing for which they had laid out any money since the wedding; to the 
play, then to dinner at Snooks on the roof with wine, the first wine, too, since 
the wedding, for Betty had been a teetotaler until she met Bill, and she 
remembered that first sharpsweet fruity sip and the warm, frothy wildness of it 
inside her, the sharp, alive focus that it gave him the first night on the little hill 
above the college when she first realized he might be the one and that was the 
first time she’d tasted wine, that after she’d gotten over the mad violinst who, no 
matter how much poetry he knew, was no man and had no intention of ever 
fulfilling any manly obligations of supporting her or bringing her any children 
and about whom her feeling had been only infatuation with that first experience 
of dionysian undiscipline by the beloved but overprotected daughter of a 
Methodist minister; that sharp, alive focus and the excitement of becoming fully 
a woman that had set her mind spinning like a pinwheel in a hurricane of fast, 
exciting maybes on that night on the hill over the college, that had swelled and 
surged, grown delicate and borne her through that voyage of lambence through 
courtship and wedding preparations and the wedding itself, over the pain of that 
velvet night of gate opening and that she felt, with a new life already growing 
within her, cresting, now beneath her, losing momentum as though she had 
forced the current beyond its peak, protected it too long from morning sickness 
and the smell of too much bugspray in their once roach-ridden kitchen, and the 
strain—WITH WHICH SHE SYMPATHIZED! The strain on both of them—on 
Bill of too long hours too many days a week with an overbearing boss and the 
responsibility of a coming child, protected it and nursed it and put it off for this 
day when she thought that together, alone and in peace, they would rejuvenate 
it and sip the wine, peaking and dying and falling here beneath her feet, just 
short of rejuvenation on the very day for which she had so long waited, praying 

David Mangum 


that it be rejuvenated, and the man who was more a man than anyone she had 
ever seen—SHE SWORE IT!—sitting haggard, redfaced in a rumpled suit with his 
tie undone—She hated to see a man with his tie undone; if he would just take it 
off that would be all right, but to just sit there with the thing wrinkled and 
half-knotted was repulsive—muttering under his breath and taking the pickles 
out of his sandwich, sitting at the kitchen table, watching her beneath the recent 
furrows on his forehead; “Goddammit!” he exploded at last and slammed the 
table with his fist. 

Betty had to bite her tongue. She hated profanity, especially that word and 
one of the hardest things to which she had had to adjust was the fact that men, 
most men, just simply used it and that it wasn’t the mark of sin and illbreeding 
that she had been brought to believe it to be. But still she had to bite her tongue, 
keeping her silence until the recoil subsided. Then she leaned across and kissed 
him. “Now it’s all right. It’s all right. You’re home, now. Here, if you’re not 
hungry just yet why don’t you have a beer and let’s just go turn on the 
air-conditioner and sit down and let you relax.” 

He grinned, blushed a little and leaned across and kissed her, but she could 
tell it wasn’t over, that he just wanted her to ask him about it and coax it out of 
him. She bet that awful word had just been a cue, that he had just been trying to 
prompt her to hurry up and start, and she felt a hot little flush at the thought. 
She had been working all morning herself and it wasn’t easy keeping house when 
you were four months pregnant and he hadn’t said a word about that. “Come 
on, get up, let’s go.” She took a beer out of the icebox and opened it and she 
hated the smell of beer, but he came, sheepishly shrugging, took the beer and 
patted her behind. They sat on the living room sofa and she turned on the 
air-conditioner and closed the door and sat beside him and she took his hand. 
Still he wouldn’t speak, but she wouldn’t either. At last she got up and turned 
on the television. It was a pregame rundown of the baseball games but she gave it 
her undivided attention. He reached for her hand but she made no move to 
comply or resist, and she could feel his palm sweating. 

Then he said it again: “Goddammit;” she jerked her hand away; “Bett, that 
man makes me so mad I just wanna kick his face in.” 

“Well, do you have to use those awful words? It seems to me that when you 
talk like that you’re just putting yourself on his level.” 

“Oh, I dunno. I’m sorry, I guess, but sometimes that’s the only way I can talk 
about it that sounds the way I feel.” 

“Well, I’m sorry. I understand the way you feel, and if you want to talk 
about it, it’s perfectly all right, but I can understand it without your using those 
words, and I just don’t see the point in it. It just upsets me more than it does 

“Oh, all right.” 

“Well, what did he do this time?” 

“Aw, I said something about if we could get people the cars without 
leatherette when they wanted them and not give them radios when they didn’t 
want them and not try and decide ourselves what kind of accessories other 


The Archive 

people need on the basis of what we happen to have in stock at the present 
second that we might do the community a lot better service and sell a few more 
cars besides.” 

“Well, I think that’s true. I think that’s a very good suggestion.” 

“Well, By da—ang, he didn’t.” 

“What did he say?” 

“Aw, he went into some kind of a long tirade about how 1 couldn’t think 
about that, that I had to think Company, Company all the time, how 1 wasn’t 
ever gonna make any kind of a salesman if I didn’t have the right attitude. My 
job wasn’t to worry about that end of it, but my job was to get those people’s 
signatures on the line, I had to think Company and close the deal, 1 had to get it 
in my head and believe without any kind of crap that that company was right 
and important. 

“Dammit, Bett, that company doesn’t mean a thing to me except a way to 
feed you an that kid, and I’ll do the guy a day’s work for a day’s pay, but, I 
swear, he can’t believe that there’s anything else in the world that’s of any 
importance besides his Shevverlays.” 

“I know, Baby. He used to go to Daddy’s church, and Daddy used to say the 
same thing, but he sunk his whole life in that old car lot, and probably, to him, 
there isn’t anything else.” 

“Well it looks to me like after this long he would have learned that everybody 
else in the world isn’t going to share that opinion.” 

“Well, you’re home now, and it’s all right now.” She leaned over and kissed 
his hot cheek. 

But he just took a lone pull of beer and said, “Hell.” 

Then Betty sat for a long minute, her breath quivering, staring at nothing, 
hearing only, “And for the Yankees, we’ll have starting Whitey Ford, a real 
veteran left hander out there on the mound today. Red Grange, what do you 
think about those speed merchants on the Boston ball club?—do you think 
they’re going to be trying to steal many bases off Ford today?” “Well, there’s no 
doubt about it, Allen Lundy, this Whitey Ford has got just about the best move 
to first base, the sneakiest move, of anybody in baseball today. It’s just almost a 
balk move,” the chairarms polished just this morning in their subdued glow 
beneath the murmur of the air-conditioner, the cool air finally diffuse 
throughout the room, the only light a blue cast from the picture tube. “Fell 
better now?” she tried to smile. 

“Aw, I dunno.” He tried to smile back but it faded quickly and she said: 

“Well, just relax, and then tonight we’ll get a good shower and go to the play 
and to Snooks, and you can forget all about it until Monday morning.” 

But he just said, “Hell, I don’t feel like doing anything.” 

And then she got up. She wanted to cry right there, but she didn’t. She stood 
in the middle of the room staring at him, then turned and ran out, slamming the 
door behind and threw herself into the bed. 

Bill soaked his lip and stared beyond the can rim through the first two 
innings, learned that Mantle’s average still wasn’t over two fifty six, goddam 
Yankees sure gone to pot, ‘member when they usta have th’ pennant sewed up 

David Mangum 


by the last of August, usta wonder allatime if Mantle’d break Ruth’s record, 
struck out once already, swinging for the boards, can’t do anything if you’re 
allatime swinging for the boards, dam boring game, guess I’ll wait’ll he comes up 
one more time an see what he does, getting old and swingin for the boards 
juslike ole Woodson an his shevverlays, got old and foundout God don’t ride in a 
shewerlay and he can’t stand the thought so he goes and gets paranoid about it, 
dudn want me thinking nothing but Company, Company all the time, got old 
and started swingin for the boards “Here’s Mantle—Batting twofifty after that 
first inning strikeout—McMahon set to deliver and there’s a curve that Mantle 
takes for a strike on the inside corner—Mantle steps out, rubs a little dirt on the 
bat handle —Now he’s back in there, McMahon winds, fires and 
theresalongflyballtoleftcenter Thisonemaygo, folks, Piersall back 
upagainsthfence, leaps and he’s got it! A great catch in there by little Jimmy 
Piersa—” Bill finished the beer in three long swallows and walked back into the 
kitchen. He stood for a minute in the hall, listening, heard nothing, then tossed 
the can in the garbage and strode out to the storage room where, dustcovered 
and ragdraped, stood the sixfiftycubiccentimeterdualoverheadcam- 
shaftTriumph Tr-5 that he had refused to sell with the rest of the possessions of 
his college days, goddam shame to just let a piece of machinery like that sit in 
the storage room and gather dust, probably shoulda sold it with the rest but hell, 
just too damn fine a motorcycle ta jus sell for money we’d grind up with all the 
rest, money I worked too goddam hard for; five hundred meant a hellavalot 
more when I’s a freshman, run through damn near twice that, now, every month, 
usta work my young ass off trying ta get money for that motorcycle b’fore I 
went to college and it was something, meanest thing on two wheels, usta 
theorize all the time about engines, volumetric efficiency, static torque, OHC 
verses pushrods, reading Cycle World and saving money till it all came together 
in Josephine, here. Some shock to get to college and find out its looks are the 
most interesting part of it. Get to talkin with a woman about my cycle and come 
to find out they’d just as soon go riding on a damn Harley Hog. Ugly Bastards. 
That’s all right, though, they came around because I had faith in old Josephine. 
Knew the machine, knew what she’d do an 1 could just sit on her, just knowing 
it, and the way I sat on her was what brought them around. Wonder if the old 
gal still runs. Check the oil before I try to crank it. Oil’s okay. Better push it on 
out here in the back first. Oh God damn, she’s a beauty. She’s a Beauty! Can’t 
see for the life of me how I got by this long without takin her out for a spin. 

By that afternoon Bill had developed the first traces of a paunch. He left his 
coat and tie hanging on a peg in the storage room and pushed the cycle into the 
driveway, cursing, goddam gettin fat already. Betty’s cookin must agree with me, 
damn fine cook, too bad she doesn’t like motorcycles TeeHee, that’s something, 
spend all that time workin to buy the thing, then go marry somebody doesn’t 
even like 'em. Can’t stand’em. Oh well, here goes nothing. He kicked the starter, 
twice and brash roar exploded from the pipes. That’s something. Been sittin up 
here more than a year, and it cranks the second kick. Lessee, neutral, first 
and—woops, come uncrunk. He kicked it back to life and remounted, drove, 
cautiously at first, into the street and up the block, down and through the 


The Archive 

subdivision to the coastal highway, feeling the unabashed bouncing in his loins 
and the fresh slap of eyewatering wind in his face, and he bet ole Woodson’s 
Shevverlays and their jetsmooth ride never made anybody feel so good, faster 
now, downshifting just to listen to it wind, wild banshee wail out over the 
bridge, just him and the cycle suspended above the blue water, flying; and on 
along the cutoff, downshifting, outsliding through the curves, clear down to 
second on the steepest hills, not bad riding for somebody hadn’t touched one in 
over a year, then down the last grade before the beach, pipes snorting on the 
overrun, the beach and bluegreen ocean with the people swimming, boys in 
trunks playing football and washing cars beneath the palms and the girls in 
binkinis outstretched, reading, listening to transistor radios, turning golden 
brown in the sun, so many golden bodies, he slowed, looking, flicked it into first 
and revved the engine. Two or three looked up and he hurried away to another 
stretch where he slowed again, and a blonde and a brunette playing with a 
beachball looked up and waved, and he wondered if they could sense the way 
that he had handled the curves back there in the hills, sifted into neutral and 
extended his legs parallel to the ground and the front wheel until it coasted to a 
stop, tossed his head, felt the wind in his hair, the sun on his chin, wondered if 
his chin were ruddy, not looking at the blondeandbrunette, feeling them not 
looking at him. 

Then he grinned, tossed his head again, caught first gear at maximum torque 
and burned away into the hills. 

Purple and gold, but mostly purple melancholia in thick-flowing tides to a 
Hungarian rhapsody, listlessly, remember me my-soon-to-be-withered rose, when 
the dewglobe dries, its spark will still be lambent in me, she lifted herself cried 
out, peacefully sad, the bedspread’s moist imprint across her cheek, and walked 
in sadness to the sofa, now released she couched herself in memory, but at my 
back I always hear, he always heard, times winged chariot and a listless 
Hungarian rhapsody hurrying near. She bit her lip and dared in an instant’s bitter 
flash, a hundred to adore each breast: hers unadored, now swollen, bevine, 
distended so that all the nice things she had, that she had always had, no longer 
fit, a half a million to the rest, but at my back I always hear, he always heard, 
times winged chariot and a listless Hungarian rhapsody hurrying near. She bit her 
lip and dared in an instant’s bitter flash, a hundred to adore each breast: hers 
unadored, now swollen, bevine, distended so that all the nice things she had, that 
she had always had, no longer fit, a half a million to the rest, but at my back I 
always hear times winged wagon drawn by gypsy oxen, on its deck a passionate 
and fire-eye violinist and bis rose and raven woman at hairlength in the sunset 

Listless, welling in dark red melancholy, furtively she dared the thought, the 
memory, the flame, yet lambent in him rekindled in her—letters, poems, bars 
and snatches of plantitive violins on nights of sacrlet, simple, ideal sin in a nether 
age when sin was simply and only sin and its wage of death apparent only in the 
sadness of the violins. She crept to the cabinet, removed the box and the record, 
set the box carefully on the sofa, and slipped to the stereo. She levered the 
record onto the turntable and stood, rapt, abstracted, till the violins awakened 

David Mangum 


her and she sat and took the box, trembling, took the letters in florid script—MY 
WASTE .... LOVE, XX—always the spark, the spark in her, growing, welling in 
the beauty of the violins, and the picture, the tramp and herself with his violin 
and her hair past her waist. She placed the picture beside the letter, reread it, 
glancing at her raven hair as the record ended. She lifted her head, exhausted and 
elated, then became aware of the stereo shutting itself off. She jumped quickly 
to her feet and stowed the letter, box, and record far back in the cabinet, then 
hurried to her room and shut the door. Inside, she showered, hot and fast, 
washing all traces of the crying from her face, then combed her raven hair, still 
raven, brushed it long behind her shoulders and dressed in darkish red, then 
stood before the mirror, almost in the door, thinking: rose, rose, rose. 

Bill cut the motorcycle engine halfway up the block and coasted clear around 
to the storage room door where he jumped off and replaced the machine with as 
little noise as possible. But still he stood in the backyard in the sun and wind and 
tossed his head. Then he grinned. Before he went inside, he tossed his head 
again, and in the kitchen he stood for a full minute before he called quietly: 

There was a stir and murmur down the hall, and he hurried into the front 
half-bath to comb his hair. He had to jerk at the snarls and it made him giggle. 
Then he felt a presence outside in the hall. “Well, Rake, what kind of 
devilishness have you been up to?” The voice was low and heavy, and it caught 
something in his still trembling thighs. He paused without turning. “You look 
like Satan incarnate.” The smirk jelled on his face and he ventured a slight 
glance. She was leaning, black hair long and straight along her bare, milky 
shoulders, against the doorfacing staring downward. He felt the muscles, the sure 
strength of his hands that had guided the motorcycle. He ran his knuckles along 
her neck and her eyes flashed across his face. Then she turned with a start. “Get 
ready,” she said, and hurried to another room. 

He showered, hot and fast, and put on his suit and found her on the sofa 
twirling a new rose in her fingers. He went to touch her. and her eves flashed 
She stayed just out of reach. She tossed her head and she leaned far back, her 
breasts pulsing visibly. 

She said, “Let’s go. ” 

He Wish es His Beloved Were A Radio 

Milbre, play 
away with me. 

Life would be like 
a ’5 2 green Chevy 

stuck in mud 
on top of the Catskills — 
midnight, radio 
playing in the rainstorm. 

Life is a green Chevy 
anyway, Milbre. 

Get your raincoat. 

Donald Slowik 

Autumn In South Texas, 1963 

I wake early and dress alone. 

Cold hardwood floor on bare feet, 
in grey half-light I leave my room. 

In silence by the back porch screen, he waits. 

The silhouette against the door 
seems strong and calm against the dawn. 

His eyes are far away but clear: 

he feels intrusion in the room and turns. 

Saturday morning at six o’clock we 
stand face to face in silence, my 
father and I. The backdoor opens 
west and Thornhill’s tin barn shines like 
fire, reflecting sunrise through the woods. 

Jeff Talmadge 

Campfire At Blackwater Falls 

As I stare in¬ 
to the mountain fire 
she sleeps in the tent, 
tired of the cold, tired 
of the nights I spend 
watching fire — fire 
that transforms tents to 
brush, transforms flashlights to 
curious animal eyes. There are 
no roads, not even 
a path. 

I blaze these hills 
pulling a packhorse that 
rips leaves off trees 
as I mark them. 

I can 

hear the water 

hum as it falls 

onto water. It calls 

too soft for the horse 

to hear — it whispers 

the way, “south to the valley, 

east up the stream.” 

We trudge 

through the brush, and the call 
starts to rumble — louder each time 
a tree is marked, louder as we 
follow it, louder 
till we see it — water 
shooting off the cliff, 

(a few drops suspended 
for a second till they 
join and fall) crashing 
into the pool. 


The foamy water 
laughs — asks if I will be 
a branch, if I will float 
under the falls and let them 
bounce me on their lap. 

I drop 

the horse’s reins and bend to 

collect dry wood from the shore. 

I place it in a careful pile. 

At night, a spark 
rises from the twigs, grabs 
my eye and rises 
as fire to the branches, rises 
to the log, until it can 
grow no more. It begs 
for other logs, reaches out 
for them, pleads 
for them, 

begging for growth. 

Fire, you will 

have them. They do not come but I 
will carry them, lay them 
in your lap, one hy one until 
there is nothing left to feed you 
but myself. 

Then I’ll 

crawl into you, lay down — 
smell my hair as it sparks 
and pops 

and is gone. I’ll watch my skin 
darken and begin to 
glow as your heat 
flows over me in ripples, 
as you grow. 

Jim Krailler 


Eve Silberman 


Tennis. No one in the group ever played but every evening they went to the 
park to watch the games. They sat together on a large blanket, and they stayed 
until long after the court lights had been turned on, falling asleep one by one 
until only Brendan was left, awake and alone. Brendan had just started to spend 
his evenings away from home, and things seemed too strange for him to fall 
asleep. So he watched the activities of the park in the evening; the baseball 
games, yoga classes, the dog watchers and the lemonade venders—and above all, 
he watched the tennis games. When all else subsided, the figures in white 
continued to leap across the courts gaily, gracefully like ballet dancers. After 
midnight when the courts finally closed, Brendan woke the others, and 
Pittman—the only one in the group who had a driver’s license—would drive them 
to their homes, safe and sound. 

There were several other spectators at the tennis courts that summer, some of 
whom came as regularly as the group. Among the regular visitors was a slender, 
pretty woman with long auburn hair who always smiled when she saw Brendan. 
She sat on the green bleachers next to the group, and she kept waving to people 
out on the courts and jumping up to catch the occasional tennis balls that soared 
over the net and towards her. She always sat next to a girl around Brendan’s age 
who spent all her time reading and who never looked at the tennis courts at all. 
One day Brendan asked Pittman if he knew who the woman was, and Pittman 
told him her name was Mrs. Fuller and that she had won a city tennis match last 
year. “I saw that match, man,” Pittman said, nodding his head so vigorously that 
his eyes half opened. “Some neat match, people really .got excited about it. They 
yelled and everything.” Pittman added something to this, but Brendan didn’t 
hear him. He was saying Mrs. Fuller’s name aloud, and saying it made it seem 
almost as if he knew her. 

Shortly afterwards, he did meet Mrs. Fuller. She came over to the group one 
evening before anyone was asleep, and she asked if they wanted to play tennis. 

“I have an extra racket,” she said, “and my husband and son would be glad to 
play with you any time. Would any of you want to play?” 

The members of the group looked from her to each other to the ground. 
Brendan traced a picture in the group with a stick, a picture of a tennis racket. 

Eve Silberman 


Mrs. Fuller repeated the question. 

“Well, thanks,” Pittman said finally. “But I don’t think so. We’re not too 
interested in sports around here.” 

“But I don’t see you do anything else,” Mrs. Fuller said, more firmly than 
before. “And tennis is a very complete sport. You should learn it when you have 
the chance.” 

“Well, yeah,” Pittman said. “But none of us here is much into the sports 
thing. We like to watch, you know.” 

Mrs. Fuller looked at them a minute more and sighed. 

“If any of you change your mind,” she said, “tell me and I’ll get my racket,” 
and, turning, she went slowly back to the bleachers. 

“What do you think of that?” Brendan said to Pittman. 

“Pretty far out, that scene,” Pittman said. 

“She’s not bad looking,” Brendan said. “She’s—she’s beautiful.” 

“She’s dying,” Pittman said. 

“Say that again,” Brendan said, sitting up quickly. 

“She’s dying, man,” Pittman said. “Didn’t I tell you? She’s an English 
teacher, you know. My cousin had her at Ferndale until she had to quit last 
spring when she became sick. She’s got cancer. I can’t remember what type it is 
but it’s the kind you can’t do anything about; you can retard it, you know, but 
you can’t stop it. So she can’t play tennis anymore, not ever again.” 

Brendan watched Mrs. Fuller sit back down. “She looks healthy,” he said, 
“except that she’s so thin. Maybe they’ve found something since your cousin 
had her, some cure.” 

“No, they haven’t,” Pittman said, shaking his hair in front of his eyes. “I read 
an article in my dentist’s office last week and it said that there hadn’t been any 
new developments and wouldn’t be any for years. It’s really bad news. She was 
my cousin’s favorite teacher, too. They say it’s a tragedy.” 

Brendan turned to look at the tennis courts. It was early in the evening, the 
most popular time to play, and people were standing around the courts, rackets 
in hand, and waiting for others to leave. “Dying,” Brendan said. “It scares me to 
think about it.” 

The next evening Brendan went over to where Mrs. Fuller sat. He stood still 
for several moments before she saw him. “Sit down,” Mrs. Fuller said, looking 
pleased and surprised. She patted the seat next to her, and he sat down. Looking 
at her carefully, Brendan saw that she was thinner than he had thought and not 
so young looking, but she did not look as if she was dying. 

“I don’t have my racket here,” Mrs. Fuller said, “but we can watch the game 
together, and tomorrow I’ll bring it to you.” 

“No, thanks,” Brendan said. “I don’t want to play. I just thought I’d come 
see you since you came by yesterday. My name is Brendan.” 

“I’m Irene Fuller,” Mrs. Fuller said, “and this is Melanie, my daughter, who’s 
a sophomore at Ferndale.” She put her arms around the girl who sat at her other 
side. “Melanie doesn’t play tennis,” she said. “I wish she would.” 

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Melanie was a small girl, pale, with limp brown hair that was tied back with a 
piece of string; she didn’t look at all like her mother. She stared at Brendan 
without smiling. “What grade are you in?” she asked, “and what’s your best 

“Tenth grade,” Brendan said. “I don’t have a best subject. I don’t like school 
much anymore.” 

“My best subject is English,” Melanie said, “and I’m going to do an 
independent study in poetry this fall for honors, concentrating on Robert Frost. 
Who’s your favorite poet?” 

Brendan stared at the book on Melanie’s lap. he tried to think of poets he 
knew. “My friend Pittman likes poetry,” he said. “He has all the books Rod 
McKuen ever wrote.” 

“Oh, Rod McKuen,” Melanie said. 

“Now, Melanie,” Mrs. Fuller said, “not everyone loves to read. There are 
things 1 like to do just as much, even though I’m an English teacher. Things with 

“Like tennis?” Brendan asked. 

“Yes, tennis,” Mrs. Fuller said, “and skating and swimming—but mostly 
tennis. I wish I could tell you bow much I like tennis. I guess you don’t 
understand if you don’t play.” 

“It’s still not the same as reading a good book,” Melanie said, almost irritabiy. 

Mrs. Fuller laughed. “It’s better,” she said. 

Brendan began visiting Mrs. Fuller every evening. He sat next to her and 
Melanie on the bleachers, and they watched tennis together. Mrs. Fuller always 
seemed glad to see Brendan. She pointed out her husband and son to him, and 
told him what a good player her son was becoming. She talked about her 
teaching. She urged him to talk about himself. Brendan liked listening to her, 
but he wishes she wouldn’t ask him so many questions—it made him 
uncomfortable, to have someone ask him questions. Mrs. Fuller was always 
asking him what he and his friends did with their time; she was puzzled by what 
he told her. “You just go to the shopping center during the day and you come 
here at night?” she asked him repeatedly. “You just sit around in the shopping 

“Well, yeah,” Brendan said. “We sit at the benches at Northland and we just 
talk, you know. Sometimes we feed the birds peanuts.” 

Mrs. Fuller shook her head. “It just seems too bad,” she said. Then she added, 
“I’m sorry. I should stop telling you this.” 

“That’s all right,” Brendan said. 

“Mother, Melanie said impatiently, “Can’t you and Brendan talk more 
quietly? I’m having troubles arriving at Frost’s ultimate meaning in this poem.” 

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Mrs. Fuller said, and smiled at Brendan. Then she stood up 
to see if she could catch a ball that had just come over the fence but the ball 
dropped to the ground and she sat down, disappointed. 

A few nights after this, Brendan came to find Melanie sitting alone on the 
bleachers. “Where is she?” he asked at once. “Where is she?” 

“My mother is in the hospital,” Melanie said, not looking up from her book. 

Eve Silbermar. 


“When will she come out,” Brendan asked. 

“Next week,” Melanie said, still not looking up. After a moment, she added, 
“She’s just there for tests, but sometimes they keep her longer than they say 
they will. I don’t trust them.” 

She’s not really dying, is she?” Brendan asked, surprising himself. 

Melanie shut her book and jumped up. “You son of a bitch,” she said, and 
sprang to the ground. Going over to a large oak tree in front of the courts, she 
sat down and went on reading. Brendan returned to the group and when Melanie 
passed him later, with her father and brother, he pretended to be asleep. 

Mrs. Fuller returned to the tennis courts the next week just as Melanie had 
said. She seemed changed, suddenly pale and fragile. She seldom smiled 
anymore, and she would stare at the tennis courts for hours with something dull 
in her expression. When the tennis balls came over the fence, she no longer tried 
to catch them. A few weeks after she returned from the hospital, she appeared 
wearing a yellow scarf around her head. Brendan wondered why, and then he 
noticed that some of her hair was gone—it looked as though it had fallen off in 
uneven patches. She told Brendan she was wearing the scarf because it was 
getting colder these nights and he nodded, not really caring, for she looked 
different but she was still Mrs. Fuller. Melanie looked up from her book for the 
first time that evening to listen to this, but she said nothing. 

One evening in late August, Brendan came to find Mrs. Fuller sitting with a 
tennis racket on her lap. As he sat down, he saw that the racket had a blue 
ribbon dangling from its handle, with the words “first prize” printed on the 
ribbon in gold letters. Mrs. Fuller just nodded as Brendan greeted her. She sat 
quite still, her hands gripping the racket, watching the tennis players, and for the 
first time Brendan realized she was going to die. The knowledge made him dizzy 
for a moment, and when the dizziness subsided he said the most appropriate 
thing he could think of. He said, “1 want to play tennis.” 

Mrs. Fuller turned to him then, and for the first time in a long while, she 
smiled. “You do?” she asked, “you do?” 

“Yeah,” he said. “I’m gonna learn.” 

“That’s good,” Mrs. Fuller said. She picked up her racket and looked at it 
almost curiously. “Maybe I could show you how to play,” she said. 

Melanie shut her book, and looked at her mother. Both she and Brendan 

“I would just play for a few minutes,” Mrs. Fuller said. “A few minutes 
wouldn’t be hard on me. I could do that.” 

She looked at the tennis courts then; so did Brendan; so did Melanie. There 
had never been so many people out as there were now, even though it was a very 
windy day and the balls kept blowing in every direction. People wore sweaters 
and light white jackets, but the breeze didn’t really bother them; the windier it 
became, the faster everyone seemed to run, and sometimes it seemed as if people 
were playing tag instead of tennis. 

“I can’t play anymore,” said Mrs. Fuller. 

Shortly afterwards, she died. She had returned to the hospital and she died 
there; Pittman called one morning to tell Brendan the news. “1 saw it in the 

The Archive 


morning obituaries,” Pittman said, “like I told you, they can retard it but not 
stop it.” Pittman refused to drive Brendan to the funeral, explaining that 
funerals gave him unhealthy vibrations. There was no one else Brendan could ask 
to take him, so he ended up not going. The day after the funeral, however, he 
dressed in his best suit, bought flowers, and went over to the Fuller home. 

Melanie opened the door for him. She looked different, older, in a dark dress 
and with her hair pinned up. Brendan was relieved that her voice sounded the 
same when she said, “I’ve been waiting for you.” 

“Have you?” Brendan asked. 

“Oh, yes,” Melanie said. “I thought you’d be here sooner. Well, come on in.” 

Brendan followed Melanie into the living room. Although there were 
bouquets of flowers everywhere the room was empty. “Where are your father 
and brother?” he asked. 

“At my aunt’s,” Melanie said. “They’ll be back soon. I’m glad you bought 
roses; they were her favorite flower. Did she tell you that?” 

“No,” Brendan said, “I thought she’d like them, though.” 

“Well, put them on the table, in front of the others,” Melanie said, and just 
sit down.” 

They sat on the sofa together, saying nothing at all for several minutes. 
Finally, Brendan said, “You sure have a lot of books here. There aren’t many in 
my house—my parents never read.” 

“Oh, we have a lot,” Melanie said. “Some of these are mine, in fact. But she 
thought I read too much. She said 1 needed to be with people more, that I 
needed to do things with people. But I always just wanted to read. And to be 
with her.” 

She stood up then. “Excuse me, please,” she said, and left the room. When 
she returned, she was carrying her mother’s tennis racket. 

“1 thought maybe I should give it to you,” she said. “I don’t know. Maybe I 
should use it myself. Only my father said he didn’t want to see it again, that he 
never wanted to play tennis again. What do you think?” 

She turned the racket about in her hands as she spoke. 

“1 don’t know,” Brendan said. “I guess what you want to do. Maybe she 
would have wanted you to keep it since you’re her daughter and all.” 

“No,” Melanie said. “I’ve decided to get my own,” and she handed the racket 
over to him. “I’ll learn to play,” she said, “and this summer—next summer, I 
mean—I’ll be out on the courts with everyone else, and maybe I’ll win a ribbon 

“You’ll have to practice a lot,” Brendan said, “before you win a ribbon.” 

“Oh, I’ve got the time,” Melanie said. “There’s lots of time now. And 
you—maybe you’ll play also,” and something in the way she said this reminded 
him of her mother. Instead of answering, he stood back and raised the racket as 
he had watched the players do all summer; then he dropped it to his side, 
clutching the blue ribbon that dangled from the handle tightly, as though to 
keep it from falling off. 

James Applewhite 

William Blackburn, Riding Westward 

Here in this mild, Septembral December, you died. 

Leaves from the black oaks litter our campus walks, 

Where students move, or stand and talk, not knowing 
Your wisdom’s stature, illiterate in the book of your face. 

So often we walked along the old stone wall at night, 

Looked up at your window, where lamplight cleft your brow, 
And knew you were suffering for us the thornier passages, 
Transfixed by Lear, or staring ahead to the heart 
Of Conrad’s Africa. Sometimes we ventured inside, 

To be welcomed by an excellent whiskey, Mozart’s Requeim. 
This clarity of music and ice revealed once in air 
A poem as you read it: as Vaughan created “The World,” 
Eternity’s ring shining “calm as it was bright.” 

On a wall was the picture of you riding on a donkey, 

Caught in mid-pilgrimage, to a holy land I do not remember. 
But your missionary parents had born you in Persia, 

And after we’d learned that we saw you as explorer; 

From hometowns scattered on an American map marked 
Terra incognita for the heart, you led treks 
Into our inward countries, and still seem discovering before, 
Through straits to “the Pacific Sea,” or the “Eastern riches.” 


Left on these New World shores — so thoroughly possessed, 
So waiting to be known — on all sides round we see 
Great trees felled and lying, their bodies disjointed, 

Or standing in all weather, broken, invaded by decay. 

The worn landscape of your features, the shadows 
Days had cast under eyes, were part of the night 
That steadily encroaches on the eastward globe, as it rotates 
In sunlight. Out of your age shone a gleam of youth, 

Which seems with cedars’ searing to sing in the forest 
In wolf’s ears of green flame. 

Still, you are dead. 

Your system is subject to entropy. Cells’ change 
Reduced your monarchical features to a kingship of chaos. 
“With faltering speech, and visage incomposed,” 

You said good night, between pangs of the withering hunger 
Which filled your dying dreams with apples and cheeses. 

In spite of the revolt of your closest ally, your body, 

You died with the nobility you’d taught, and teaching, learned. 
And now you roam my brain, King Lear after death. 

The broken girl in your arms is only your spirit, 

A poor fool hanged by Cordelia, by the straits of fever. 

We visit your old office on campus in grief. 

Outside, trees lift winterward branches toward 
A sky in chaos. The patterning which spins the stars 
Exists outside this weather we live under. 

We see only branches against those clouds’ inclemency. 

Reprinted hy permission of Sewanee Review. 

Julie Ross 

Laughing Woman Is Gone For Good 

Across the bare crystal morning 

you can hear the murmuring pines whisper 

the shell-echoes of the Gloucester sea 

tethered to the strand, 

reminding you of her amber fire skin 

Glistening in the twilight resinous 

sands of evening. 

Gentle her midnight breathing 

in the mantled stillness 

of veiled shadows drifting 

You can almost hear her singing 

as she winds her hair round her 

in dusky coils of cedar chest secrets 

alabaster winter-veils tinging 

incense lifting musky spirals 

sifting through the milktruck earliness 

and the coffee grounds in the sink. 

The smooth flat sheets 

the emptied spaces 

the lithograph-hauntings of forgotten faces 
meet the morning shadows 
and the pain in you screams 
upon the silence — 

there was no sound quite as important 
as that coalescence 
of barren pain and shaming stillness 

shattering the Gloucester calm 
to her rain forest words 

her gentle breakfast clattering 
and there was no answer 

none this naked day dawning 
quite as still. 


Donna Landry 

Six poems 

The Bridlepath 

They have given me the red mare for today. 
There is wind in the pines in late afternoon: 
their tops are clicking in imitation of death. 

The red mare walks cautiously 
over the forest floor where dead pine needles 
lie with dust—red-brown on red. 

I wonder about her. 

Mare, have there been foals torn from your flanks, 
or have you yet to find a chestnut stallion 
running in the wood? 

The mare’s ears twitch forward and back, 
she sighs through her lips. 1 listen 

for the click of pine tops, but there is silence. 


Bedroom with Moon at the Window 

Heavy with blood screened through silk, 
she is sitting in the dark 
feeling the tidal pull 
And squeezing her waist 

to see if she can meet the test 
of a two-hand span (allowing 
a little extra for the reach of a man). 

A desirable waist will allow his fingers 

to not merely meet but lap each other 

as they do in a dog-eared paperback 

where women wear chantilly in the South, before. 

The body throbs dispassionately 
while long-nerved fingers 
do not touch each other 
but bury themselves on either side 
of her belly 
and she is an old maid 

with the moon looking over her shoulder and into her bed. 

For Mary and Sylvia Plath 

After Ward 

They say you are mad— 
they have ushered you in 
with a hundred others 
for distillation and analysis 

of what has happened behind your tightened mouth. 
I know better than they what probing 
with a silver instrument can yield — 


I have felt you delicately 
crouching on my shoulders 
like the bird of immortality, 
earthbound for an instant 
and resting your wings. 

Walking a Poet Before His Reading 

White wine night— 
and in long dresses 
she and 1 flank a poet, 
cross the grass. 

Our bard has roving eyes; 
his voice is wind on the water. 

We find 

along the gaze of his arm 
and new order in a surfeit 
of marble columns. 

There is power 
in the dome of the sky, 
in the bard’s protective stance, 
as we stand three together 
in frozen masque, 

while the heavens reel over our heads 

like the mobile made entirely 

of moebus bands 

he h ung in our imaginations 

by conceiving us 

as no less 

than pre-Raphaelite. 


Seen as if by Beardsley 

They say 

it’s been a long time since 
she’s lost anything at all, 
much less her lover. 

Under the flowering cherry tree 
she is biting your hand 
vicious teeth 

biting off chunks of your 
quivering nervous sensibility. 

You smile 
sheepish/deligh ted 
the cat 

out of the tree 
and you run the iron 
palms of your hands down 
her spine chilling to the waist 
preparatory to 

running through the goat dancing crowds of pine: 
it is spring. 

No one would ever believe 
that she wants to be dead. 

No one sees 

the knives you and she 

are carrying before you as you run. 


(St)Harlot’s Song 

I was the girl at the end of the Greek chorus line 
who stepped forward behind her mask 
and spoke a few words in solitude. 

So you saw me. 

Accosted after dress rehearsal, I made cat’s eyes 
at your quizzical brows, stroked my 
whiskers and wisked out- 

On opening night 1 saw a small crack in the intricacy 
of my speaking tube and ran— 

frantic to your wisdom, wanting amplification 
for my lines. 

Prompter-in-residence, Cut-master. 

It was so much easier as a chorus girl- 
paying the leading ladies in blood. 


Peter Klappert 

The Cat Lover 

I loved you 

with the teeth behind my eyes, 
but we were just about equal 
at mousing, and you never 
had to be taught how to land 
on your feet, or anyone else’s. 

We probably should have been cats. 

Two poems 


Mrs. Hutzpah like 

Love in its furs at the Ritz 

revolves in and out and 

up with her bundles of Christmas 


While I the doorman 
with no door to open 
pent in my great coat 
call her a cab with 
my mouth it’s a whistle she blows 
me a tip but my tails are 
still jammed in a spinning 

“Thank You” it should have been “Please” 


C.X. Kee 

Les 105 Canons 

Mon parapluie dechire mordait lentement dans le ciel . . . 

La bete vide cloche et ne vaut rien. 

Les pendus baillants relachent lentement: chez moi 
Le cochon qui sait la verite penetre sans regarder. 

Le Fauteuil a la fois tendre, mais lourd 
Fait une promenade avec un grand serieux. 

Le temoignage essentiel a chevauche la rue. 

Le soldat affreux me remplit de joie maintenant. 

Dans le sillon d’ou est tombee la bourgeoise 
La peur fatiguee n’est pas. Le buveur 

De loup et de chien boit quelque chose de soigneusement fait. 
Un squelette gigantesque doit manger le Neant. 

Laus Horizontalitatis 

Beckett’s immobile bodies I understand. 

Horace never sang this one; 

Hopsi- sure, 

To- of course, 

Men- God, yes! 

But he, every new poem nesding 
Nine years on its shelf, 

He contradicts the plain. 

We jostled oysters, we bed down 
In single, double, twin, 

King, queen, knave if you 1 ike— 

Circular pieheds for spidery bipeds, 
Asleep-on-the-deep waterbeds, 

Executive wall-to-wall thinkbeds. 

Post we, lascivious Gertrude-like, 

To sheets of shame, 

We who gladly eagle-spread flat out, 

One bedroom community coast to coast? 

No sexual drive this, sensual. 

Modern bundling, not for warmth 
But neurovisceral. 

One stud, asked had he slept with a girl, 

Said no, he always got up and left, afterwards. 
Didn’t understand. 

Back is beautiful, 

Supine fine, 

Side sinuous, sensuous— 

Bedridden flower-children, 

Our deeds bedwritten. 


Mark Winges 


D ~ 

They’re fucking in the street 
I saw them 

standing out on my fireescape 
late at night 

looking out over the sidewalk 

I saw them 

fucking in the street 

I saw a man almost trip over a couple 

as he crossed the street 

I saw them fucking 

in the street 

wild-eyed, starry, determined 
orgasm ic 

they were fucking in the street 

Why don’t they get the hell out of the way? 

1 have a right to the street 

Everytime I want to take a walk 

I look outside 

They are always in the way 

with their damn fucking 

At night 
I look out 
and see them 
the little ones 
fucking in the street 
in my street 


Stephen Rojac 

The Stalls 


There is the yellow wall, a yellow wall not two feet from his face as he stands, 
a yellow wall grayed with pencilled invitations to the last stall. Always the last 
stall. — What does one do when the last stall is in use 1 wonder. What if three 
show up at once? — He reads them, old dates and times, cocking his head at 
unlikely adjectives, standing still even though his purpose exhausts itself. 

There is a rustle of paper and he quickly jerks around. Too quickly. He turns 
back to the wall and then turns again a moment later. 

The room is long with pink stoney stalls — Glazed. No writing on these, no sir 

— stretched against the yellow, sinks and mirrors opposite the stalls, stalls 
pointing to the mirrors. The light over the first mirror is out. He washes his 
hands under the lightless mirror. 

There are no towels at that sink; none at the next.. He moves down to the last 

There are towels here, yes, but as he dries his hands he glances in the mirror 
and starts. From there the rustle. A boy sitting, smiling, stall door open. The last 
stall. Smiling. He stuffs the used towel in the springed trash can, smiles quickly 

— not uncordial, I mean really — and walks very quickly to the exit. It 
pneumatically eases closed behind him and he walks away and wonders about 
the boy — man, I guess — sitting, smiling into die lighted mirror from the last 


The Archive 


He sat quite still, alternately reading his book and the writing on the stall 
door, the door proving more interesting: The glazed pink stone of the stall itself 
refused to hold ink legibly, so tbe painted wood of tbe door bad acquired a good 
deal of comment, obscene, questioning and sometimes enigmatic. He read 
attentively, comparing the requests and offerings described with those listed on 
the wall, the yellow wall he had read before. These seemed more detailed, more 
involved; there were more pictures, a better prose style, rather than only dates 
and statistics. Simple enough: the wall had announcements, the stall was the 
place for invitations. Stalls had more privacy (anonymity except for feet), more 
time for contemplation, for wording and artwork, and some occupants made 
good use of these advantages. 

The main door opened and, hearing footsteps, he involuntarily tensed and 
jerked his eyes back to the book. Then he remembered: in the stall, unknown 
and unrecognizable, even old black shoes. He relaxed a little and squinted to the 
slit between the stall and its door, trying to catch sight of the intruder as he 
passed. But too small a space, too fast a stride and the new one was only a 
shadow between him and the mirror light. He eased and resumed reading the 

But he quickly tensed again. The stranger entered the next stall and its door 
latch clicked shut. Clinking of belt buckle, buzz of zipper, cloth crumpling and 
then quiet. Quiet again, but there was someone in the next stall now. He was a 
little uneasy reading the door. He nervously, very loudly flipped a page in his 
book and calculated how soon it might be polite to leave. 

And then there it was. His mind shook, raced. — A foot. God a foot there’s a 
foot on this side of the stall. 

He trembled. 

—David Ruben was right. A foot, feet under the partition. 

He stared at it, at the — he didn’t know what. No, he knew what, he knew 
too many things what. A suggestion. A mistake perhaps, a slip. 

No. It stayed there, stayed in place — ankle under the stone divider, foot 
almost completely in his stall. He stared at it as it stayed, motionless, a little 
imperative. A black tennis shoe, somewhat worn, white sides, the white a little 
dirty. The laces were graying, as if stepped on frequently: white laces flopping as 
the foot walked, flopping under it and being stepped on. The end of one lace 
was frayed, the plastic tip missing, unravelling and frayed from being stepped on. 
He watched; it did not move, it was stuck, glued, rooted to the floor. He listened 
to it; it was silent: no squeak on the floor, no movement of interior toes. 

Then he touched it. With his foot, not a hard touch, bare contact as he 
carefully shifted his own foot close and parallel to the outside one so that his 
leather lightly brushed the canvas. At first there was no response. Leather and 
canvas touched and there was warm skin under each and he could almost feel the 
other’s blood pump as well as he could feel and hear his own, but there was no 
response to his move. 

Stephen Rojac 


Again he began to think of a mistake, of pulling his foot back, pants up and 
hurriedly leaving, but not yet. He kept his foot still and waited. Then there was 
the counter-move: the other’s foot began an invisible pressure to his own, a 
motionless, steady push, deliberate as felt and otherwise imperceptable. Not a 
mistake, a conscious force. He responded with firmness and there was no 
movement, but a completed signal. 

The foot withdrew without hurry and, from the other stall, there came the 
sounds of calm departure: the cloth uncrumpled and was straightened, the 
zipper burred, the belt buckle rang quietly and then the stall door clicked open. 
After footsteps came the sound of rushing water from the sink. 

He listened for a moment, then he stood and his stomach tightened. Pants up 
and fastened, he reached for the latch of the stall door, the last silent door, the 
reading door, and when he touched it he was frightened. Out there, washing his 
hands would be a policeman, would be a monster truck driver who would beat 
him as queer, would be a child to whose delinquency he had begun to 
contribute. He couldn’t go out, not to meet them with their knowing grins. He 
would be lost. But he obviously couldn’t stay. It was over. He unlatched the 

—Bending over the sink was, well, none of the people I was afraid it might be. 
He was bending way over into the sink, washing his face, and all I could see was 
a little of his back and his hips. He was wearing jeans, old ones that were fading 
blue to white, and they were kind of tight, pulled over his hips. His hips were 
small, rounded under the cloth. I just stood at the door, looking, and wondered. 

I wondered what he would look like when he finished washing his face, when 
he’d be standing there and I could see all of him, wondered what he’d do when 
he looked up and saw me, what he’d think, where we’d go. 

He lifted his head from the water and felt around for the towels. There 
weren’t any at that sink. He swore quietly and fumbled his way to the next one 
and got some there. It I’d thought about it I would’ve handed him a couple 
instead of letting him flounder around blindly like that, but I was just watching 
him and I never even thought of it. He dried his face and looked at me and 
smiled. His skin was reddish from being rubbed with the rough paper and that 
red only made him look more cheerful than he already did. I don’t know why, I 
mean his face looked like he enjoyed everything a lot, like Puck or Pan, someone 
who smiled a lot, I guess. His hair was black and tightly curly and it just kind of 
balanced on top of his head in a pile. His eyebrows arched when he smiled. He 
looked like he hadn’t shaved in a few days with the black beginnings of a beard 
on his face. When he smiled there were wrinkles around his eyes and mouth. 

And that’s what he did; that’s all. He smiled, nodded his head sharply once 
and walked toward the exit. He opened the door and disappeared as it drifted 

I was confused. Scared and confused. His foot under the partition, I was sure, 
but he had just nodded and gone. I looked in the mirror and then left, the door 
swinging easily. 

I walked down the hall, wondering again, this time about what had happened. 


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He was interesting and I wondered where he’d gone, what I’d done wrong. And 
there he was beside me, looking at a poster, and then walking with me, right 
beside me, strides the same. 1 was too nervous to look, but he spoke first, spoke 
softly, not cowed softly, but only as if he knew perfectly well that I could hear 
him and he had no reason to speak any louder. 

—Do you have someplace where we can go? 

The question was without urgency or emotion; a question of fact. I was 
surprised at the calm. 

I answered with a shake of my head. No, I couldn’t take him home. We could 
play cards there, but neighbors or family would know of any more; they would 
probably know if we played cards. 

He was undisturbed and continued. 

—Neither do I. How about a car? 

I said yes. 

He smiled again, pleased with himself or me. 

—Let’s go then. I know someplace where we can go. 

I nodded and he kept smiling and walked a little faster. We walked silently, 
not looking at each other. In fact, I walked looking at the ground, watching my 
old black shoes on the sidewalk, trying to remember when I had polished them 
last, wondering if he had noticed the white scuffs on them. 

We got to the car and he directed me down the road, out of town. We drove 
for miles and said nothing, just watching the road, looking at the side. There 
were farms along the highway, farms with big fields and livestock. I watched the 
animals and the fields: the grain was bending, blown by the wind, and the 
animals turned their heads from the breeze, but then it would stop and they’d 
look back and begin to graze and the fields would straighten up and stand. Then 
the wind again. 

—Go slowly. It’s up here somewhere. 

He put his hand on my leg as he spoke and when I started he just smiled and 
took it back, but God the hand had been there and my thigh burned. The hand 
touched, with fingers and warm, but so easy. My whole leg was heavy and stiff, 
like wood, and my thigh burned. 

—Up there, the little dirt road on the left. 

I turned and we drove from the fields into a forest, a pine forest with tall 
trees, branchless until the top, on either side of the road. The air through the car 
windows was hot from the pine cover and filled with the thick, sticky smell of 
resin. And the floor of the forest was strangely bare: no smaller trees or shrubs 
or even undergrowth; the needles on the ground kept any new seeds from ever 
reaching the soil and even if one could root, the branches overhead blocked out 
the sun and left only a kind of dusky brown light down below. So there were 
just the straight tree trunks, without branches, spaced all across the land, like 
columns supporting the forty-foot ceiling of this room we were driving through. 

—Over there. That’s a good place to stop. 

I looked. — In the middle of the woods? We’re right on the edge of the road. 

—Well, just park the car and we’ll walk farther back. 

Stephen Rojac 


I stopped the car, but I was doubtful. With the clear ground of the forest you 
could see a long way from the road and a suspicious farmer or game warden 
could easily find us. But I parked and we got out. 

Jumped out, 1 should say, at least for him. He sprang out of the car and ran 
into the woods, skipping and whirling around tree trunks, bark chips flying. He 
called to me. 

—You’re it, I’ll hide. Count to ten. 

I smiled, not comfortably — a litde unnerved — but a playful smile from a 
long time ago. I closed my eyes and began to count. When I got to ten I began to 
run, yelling, whistling, looking behind trees. I’d run a litde away from the road 
when I heard him laughing from behind and I turned to see him running after 
me. He ran to me and caught my hand and we began to run into the woods, 
singing wildly, parting bread-and-butter at tree trunks, yelling and laughing, 
running until we couldn’t speak, until we breathed quickly with open mouths, 
until, finally, blind with running, I tripped and fell rolling, pulling him down 
with me onto the pine needle floor. 

We just lay there gasping and laughing. Air came slowly back among the 
humor as we lay staring at the tree tops and the little bit of sky we could see 
among them. 

And then he rolled over and, his mouth open, he kissed me. Hard, his tongue 
moving along my lips, waiting for them to open. And with his arm he pulled me 
to him, never breaking his kiss. His arms went around me, holding to my back 
and hips and I held him, too, tightly, warm on the pine carpet. 

He stopped his kiss, pulled slowly away and sat still. Then he stood, 
unbuttoning his shirt. I fumbled for my own and cursed my scared fingers; he 
just smiled. 

—You’re really nervous. 

1 nodded. 

—Just relax. What’s the problem? 

—I’m not sure. I’ve never done this. 

—Good line. I’ve heard it before. 

I protested. I swore my innocence anxiously. 

—OK, but just relax, just enjoy it. 

He resumed unbuttoning his shirt. His chest was smooth, a little black hair in 
the middle; his waist narrow. His skin was dark, tanned, with a white band 
around the hips where trunks had been. He was wiry and thin, with muscles in 
his legs, like a runner’s legs, and between, his cock hung thick from wiry black 
curls, almost ringlets. And as he lay down beside me it stiffened and arched 

I pulled him to me and kissed him, our tongues meeting and hands sliding 
down each other’s bodies: smoothing, rubbing the warmth as we held the kiss, 
pulling to and feeling for the skin, the pressure of the skin, of the push of the 
other. I felt for his body, for his presence, for the movement which only almost 
followed mine, which did not quite move as I did and which was not part of me. 
We met as unsynchronized mirrors — faces together, arms enmeshed and cocks 
struggling at each other — even as we pushed togedier closer and into the other 


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He ended the kiss and moved lower, opening my legs and kissing the inside of 
the thighs, his tongue lighting the smooth skin, tickling, as he moved upward. 
Then he lifted his head and paused and as 1 lay hack, he slowly, very slowly, 
lowered his kiss, his tongue, his whole warm mouth onto me and I whispered, 

—Warm, so warm, 

and felt him circle me and touch me with his tongue. His neck curved and he 
rocked his head gradually, to me and away. 

I rolled to my side and reached for him, pulling his hips toward me. I touched 
my lips to him, rubbing my fingers through the thick black hair, kissing, drawing 
on the hardness. 1 ran my tongue to the tip, around, feeling him start at my 
movement. He drew closer, our hands wandering quickly to caress new places, to 
please by surprising touch, but never breaking the kiss, though moving, flailing, 
rubbing with all and then the smoothness, the warmth of him on me, the soft 
wet of his warmth on me began to pull at me, to pull from deep, to pull me out, 
inside out, into him and I began to tighten, to feel my hips move in his grasp, to 
feel myself whirling and flying, I felt myself sliding in him, I began to begin, I 
began to come out into 

But he took away his mouth and laid his head on my hips, stroking my side as 
I kissed. I kissed harder, moving more quickly on him. 1 rubbed and massaged, 
stretching my hand to reach his chest and back. And then I felt him return the 
kiss, his tongue thrashing on me. And I began to sense his pull again and knew 
that 1 could not (writhing, 1 was writhing and he, too) stop at the spinning, at 
the whirling to the top of the — of the — whirling to the slippery top, the peak, 
as I was pulled and pulling, as I caressed and slid and finally shot, feeling the 
slick warmth around me and feeling the softness in me and the quick hot, the 
sudden sperm exchanged between us. I felt warm water, water in waves, wash all 
over me, over my body from in out. We ended the kiss and wrapped arms in 
embrace. And then we slept. 

When I woke it was dusk and the light of the forest, which had been brown, 
was turning gray.He was asleep beside me, his hands across his stomach and his 
head resting on his piled clothes. There were pine needles in his hair and he 
smiled even in his sleep. 1 touched his shoulder and he woke. 

—It’s getting dark. We’d better go. 

He looked around and nodded. We dressed and walked back to the car. We 
drove through the farms and back to town. At a stop light he opened the door 
and got out, sticking his head in the window to say, 

—Well, goodbye. I’ll see you sometime. 

And then, as the light changed, he walked away, his jeans kind of tight, pulled 
over his hips. 


The door closed soundlessly as I entered the room and stood quietly before 
the center mirror, looking not at myself, but at the row of glazed pink stalls 
along the wall behind me. I scanned their vacancy, doors hanging open, and 
found one closed with feet below the door, feet unmoving. Slowly I walked to 
the stall next to the feet and latched myself in. Sitting still, I pondered the other 

Stephen Rojac 


next to me, wondering about him. About my new neighbor. But I thought of the 
time and began the move: my foot, new shoe recently polished, slid silently 
toward the partition, under the partition, to the feet I had seen. I stopped and 
waited, nervously ready to jerk back my message as a mistake, pardon me a 
mistake, yes. But wait a few seconds longer, a few seconds and there might be 
the answer of a pressure and the completed signal. 

And it was. A light touch against my shoe, I could feel it shift to place and 
gently touch me. As it did I waited, cautiously waited to respond and even bent 
low, looking at the two feet together. I waited until I could be sure, until I was, 
and then began the push, the deliberate, certainly non-accidental commitment, 
and as I pushed, the other responded smoothly and in course: no movement, 
only interior pressures. 

The dance was over and I began to leave, raising my pants, buckling the belt 
and clicking die latch. I listened for similar preparations from him, but there was 
no sound until I opened my door and then he opened his also, going to the sink. 
Fully dressed and yet there had been no sound; waiting. But I went to a sink, 
too, and we washed hands in a serious manner, staring absorbed at them. He 
reached for towels and there were none and only as he stepped nearer to me to 
find them did he look up. He looked up and nodded, unsmiling, and returned his 
concentration to drying his hands. He moved to the trash can and turned to go, 
looking back with a kind of surprised grin as he opened the door, looking back 
at me. He left and the door closed slowly behind him. 

I was unsure. The light over the first mirror was out, but I had seen him well 
enough: a clean-cut, almost pretty face of middle age, whose skin was freshly 
shaven, whose dark eyes opened widely and large; his hair was black and combed 
nicely, combed carefully with niceness; his suit was well-cut and new and w ith a 
tighdy knotted tie. He was not right, not in this room. He was out of place there 
and I was unsure of him and of what to do. 

But I left and found him waiting in the hallway outside, standing very 
discreetly and with the calm of openly waiting for a business associate for an 
evening of executive discussion and policy. He looked to me and smiled genially 
as he extended his hand in greeting. I took it and he shook firmly. He motioned 
down the hall and as we walked he began to speak. 

—Yes. Well, we can go to my apartment if you’d like. I share it with another 
man, but he’ll get the idea soon enough and go off visiting friends or some such 
excuse. A bright boy; yes, he’ll get the idea soon enough and leave. 

He laughed a little and I nodded in agreement, wondering. We walked outside 
and he pointed to a car. Driving, we were both silent, watching the road in the 
headlights. I didn’t know anything to say. 

We finally stopped at a tall white building with hundreds of small balconies, 
all in the same shape with the same walls and everything, but with different 
chairs in one and strange plants or a windowbox in another so that each was 
different and the back of the building looked like a giant patchwork quilt, each 
patch lighted by its own yellow porch light. We got out and walked up the high 
stone steps to a long row of glass doors. Inside, we were in a lobby, an empty, 
gold-carpeted lobby with a huge white fireplace, carefully laid with perfect logs 


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which would never be burned. The fireplace was surrounded by brown leather 
couches and deep easy chairs while in the farther sides of the room there were 
other chairs by small tables with lamps. But there was no one there; a few of the 
lamps were on, but the logs would never be burned and the room was empty. We 
went through it and to the back, where he punched for the elevator and we 
stood waiting. A receptionist looked up from her desk and smiled at him, but 
the elevator came and he had not seen her. We rode for what seemed long, but 
eventually the doors slid open and we stepped out into a blue hall. He went to 
the second door and knocked, tried the lock and walked in, talking loudly. 

—Hello. I’m home, and with a friend. Where are you now? I’m home. 

I came in behind him and walked nervously around the living room: looking 
out the glass doors onto the balcony with its tiny white iron furniture, picking 
up little pieces of decorative clutter, reading the tides of books. The room was 
not large and its dark panelling made it seem even smaller. There was a green 
vinyl couch wedged against one wall, a low table in front of it; and, against the 
other, was a piano, a small upright one with music spread across it. The only 
light in the room came from a pair of crystal lamps on either end of the piano: 
Their prisms made rainbows on the walls which trembled when I moved. I sat 
down on the couch, glancing at the magazines on the table, thumbing through 
them blindly, listening for some sound of him or of them. I folded my 
hands and leaned back in the couch, trying to relax, waiting. 

He came back in a moment, followed by a man in a white shirt and loose gray 
trousers; the man was introduced as George. His hair was thinning and he looked 
older than his friend. Scuffling in worn slippers, he walked to me and offered his 
hand, my presence apparently having been explained to him. I shook hands and 
then stood aimlessly, one hand rattling change in my pocket. 

I was offered a drink, which I refused, and was told to sit down and be 
comfortable. I resumed my seat on the couch and George sat opposite. The 
other, the younger one came and sat beside me, turned to face me with his arm 
propped on the back of the couch. 

In this way, I stared quite frequently and talked very little. George asked 
about the other’s day and vice versa, each intricately describing this day’s meals 
and company. They spoke of friends they had seen, or hadn’t seen in a long 
while (Louise, for instance who had seemed to vanish). Th bill for the rent had 
come and they argued amiably about who had paid the landlord last month and 
when he had done it, though they reached no conclusion. They tried to 
remember a telephone number, while I politely listened. They reminded each 
other of upcoming events and shows, of dinner engagements made last month 
and though they mentioned the neighbor down the hall, neither could remember 
his name. I wanted to go to the bathroom, but I couldn’t ask or excuse myself 
while they debated, not in the middle and they overlapped too quickly. I shifted 
my position and stared out the balcony door while they talked, my mind 
wandering to the lights outside, my inattention unnoticed. When I returned to 
them they were talking about George’s childhood in Chicago and how poor he 
had been and about how his parents, his father was a tailor, had sacrificed so 
that he could have piano lessons and how his mother had cried at his first recital. 
George looked at the piano. 

Stephen Rojac 


—I haven’t played in so long. 

The other coaxed him. —Play now, George, go ahead. 

—Oh, no, not now, not with your friend and I haven’t practiced. Later. 

—No, go ahead, George. Please, we’d like to hear you. 

He looked to me and 1 nodded my head. George went to the piano and, 
finding the piece he was looking for, sat down, his gray pants spreading wide on 
the polished wood of the bench. He played slowly and his large fingers missed 
too many notes. Sitting closely on the couch, I put my hand on the younger 
man’s leg, touching gently the inside of his thigh. He turned from the piano, his 
eyebrows lowered, and shook his head, motioning toward his friend. I withdrew 
my hand and sat still, listening to the formless sound of the small piano. 

When George finished we applauded and the other demanded a second piece. 
George consented and sat down, playing another song much like the first. I 
remained quiet, a studious look on my face, for a while and then leaned toward 
my companion and asked about the bathroom. He directed me to it and as 1 left, 
he sat back again, listening to the piano and watching the player. 

I found the bathroom: a clean, neat litde room where I was almost ashamed 
of myself, of my awkwardness. The walls were pale green with green tiles lining 
them halfway up; the tub and sink, however, were a polished, scrubbed white. 
Over the sink was a small cabinet, a medicine chest, with a mirrored door and as 
I stared at myself in the mirror, I heard the fluorescent light hum and suddenly 
that was all: there was no mistuned piano. I washed my hands and dried them on 
the folded towels hanging by the sink, unfolding them in the process. Then I 
turned out the light and went back to the living room. 

But the room was empty. The piano was vacant and the green couch, though 
the cushions were still indented from weight, held no one. 1 called George’s 
name and opened the outer door, looking into the blue hall. I walked back to 
the bathroom, glancing in the rooms along the way, but still no sign of anyone in 
kitchen, bedroom or bath. I again went back to the living room and stood with 
hands on my hips, staring and wondering where or why they both might have 
gone, how they could have disappeared so quickly and noiselessly. Then I caught 
a motion from one side, from the balcony and 1 turned. Against the railing, arms 
around each other, mouths fixed together, each body still, close against the 
other. Their eyes closed, he and George could not see me and I opened the door 
and left. 1 rode the elevator to the first floor and walked to the lobby, smiling at 
the receptionist as I passed. Once there, I walked around, turning out the lamps 
that were on and then I sat in front of the fireplace. 


He doesn’t look at the yellow wall as he stands. He doesn’t need to. He just 
stands until he can leave and then he goes to the sink. The fucking light over the 
first mirror is out. 


Tom Hou se 

the sons of attis and i 

and the candleabra sways to 
the tinkle of fragile glass, 
diamonds flash in their eyes, 
the languid smoke curls around 
the colored, pastel lights. 

shifting her body to her own 
advantage, she mingles with the 
guests, nylons rustle across the 

and the orchestra plays, and 
the orchestra rests, hlack men in 
white face, and white men in drag, 
nibble at your fingers, and spit 
upon your feet. 

they do not deny the frenzy, 
or attempt to hide their passions, 
the sons of attis dance beyond the 
limits of our rationale, or judge¬ 
ment. at the end of the mop. 

young men, mad with fever, have 
offered all they have, pride, a 
silly guesture. they take what can 
be found them, from the housewives 
of the church, discarded tunics, 
and tattered rags. 

young men wake the morning, 
their heads stuffed with cotton, 
fit only for breaking and blessing 
the wafers, and serving ceremonial 


and you? 

they would rather see you bleed 
draped like a window, in long and 
gushing crimson. 

adorned, adored, you sit and 
stare, the satin binding your chest, 
your belt pulled tight to halter, 
and the braided cords gathered at 
your waist. 

we hear every breath, each sign, 
your calm, yet sweat-streaked 
face, your perfumed hair in pillows 
with jewels on your helpless hands, 
and filigree pendants dangling 
from your ears. 

we do not claim to recognise 
the woman inside the shell, this 
is evolution, the morning can 
always be predicted. 

to this toast, you raise your 

the lacquer shimmers, you 
allow it. our personalities are 
only paraodies. contented for the 
second, within the chitin of your 

and i? 

i stand alone by the stairwell, 
i am not fit to be cruel, but a 
period has ended, white is no 
longer pure, and the light, lace 
slips conceal nothing. 

drink up! drink up! the serving 
boys in high-heels and mascara are 
filling the glasses with a thick 
cream sherry.. 

Georgann Eubanks 

A Portrait of Poverty: Mea Culpa? 

Squatting on the curbside. 

A city bus growls by, stirring up the street sediments 
and leaving behind its noxious flatulation. 

He’s wearing the synthetic K-Mart blue cardigan 
that Mrs. Lindblom the welfare lady 
(who’s in the hospital now with vericose veins so 
they’ve got a new young man with unsympathetic eyes, a clip 
board, and an old yellow Volkswagen to replace her) 
gave him 2 Christmases ago. 

It’s too small—though he hasn’t grown much— 
not warm enough for February. 

Button holes are frayed and grimy, 

There’s a dark and sticky patch of this morning’s 

surplus commodity cornsyrup on the left foresleeve. 

(The cuffs don’t quite reach his wrists anymore.) 

His tan denim pants are new and tight, unwashed. 

Two little blacktop highways run down the 
front of each thigh to the knee where 
he’s been rubbing his hands up and down contemplating. 
Rocking back and forth a bit, the cold curbstone 
is soaking through his pants. 

Staring at the letters on the rusted sewer cover next to him: 




Abruptly rising, he spins toward the sagging brick apartment building, 
and with a timorous glance around for possible observers, 
gives a couple of quick thumbflicks to his crotch. 

He crosses the gray dirt yard and two steps at a time, 
almost tripping once, he clatters up the tiled stairwell. 

He had, with a repugnant air, ignored Casey Noble’s litde sister 
who was teething on the railing on the first flight. 

An oppresively steam-hot rush of soured air presses against his face 
as he pushes aside the door to “D-4 Turner” 

The refrigerator rattles familiarly. 

There are ceramic plaques and photographs cluttering the walls— 

Jesus, bluebirds, praying hands, Louise in Santa’s lap at Sears. 

The TV is on in Mama’s (grandmother’s) bedroom 

He sits. 

What does a 9 year old want? 

a dog—he’d really like a dog (or maybe a bird), 
a helicopter ride. 

some french fries with lots of ketchup and a chocolate 
milk with ice in it. 
a guitar. 

Modest hopes—the subtle sense of futility that descended 

on his father like a suffocating blanket at 24 is still unforeseen for him. 

It’s raining now. 

Another hour before the YMCA van comes by for prospective swimmers. 

Mama is doing the wash in the bathtub; 
he can hear the water sloshing. 


Allen Jameson 

Case # 4 



The radio car we requested was one of those retired Fairlanes you see 
sometimes on Dragnet; we were heading away from the scene of the detonation 
into Brooklyn. Phil wanted to go to Henry St. to the Krishna Temple, so away 
we went—I always drove (ready to pull a Bullitt at any time). It was in this 
temple that the founder of Krishna Consciousness, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, 
first brought his movement to the eastern seaboard in the summer of ’66; Phil 
and I used to go down there for the free feasts and a little dancing and chanting. 
We were enthralled by it back then: perhaps we saw it differently that day, but I 
could feel us both react with a kind of instinctive nostalgia at a beautiful mode 
of life which was in fact outdated thousands of years ago. Or perhaps it was the 
tug of cosmic memory of a past lifetime with Vendantists—supposedly you don’t 
chant Hare Krishna in a temple in this age unless you had found a devotion to 
Krishna in a previous incarnation. 

The temple was nearly empty, the bulk of devotees apparently gone out on 
kirtan, or dancin’, a-dancin’ in the streets. Maya-das and Brahmas-mi-dar greeted 
us after we had taken off our shoes; we all had been around when Allen 
Ginsberg, who was then living on E. Tenth St. dropped over to talk to 
Prabhupad—(the devotes affectionate name for their master) and chant his 
Bengali version of the mantra which he’d picked up on his visit to India around 
’63. So we were old friends. Phil spoke first: 

“Hare Krishna, Bramasi-dar, Maya-das. It’s good to visit the temple again.” He 
embraced Bramasi with unabashed joy, nodding to Maya-das because of the 
Vedic rules against touching a married woman. “Hari Hari Bol, Phil-prabhu!” 
they shot back with recitative manner of people who had found a new tongue 
better than the one they were born to. “I see you have brough the elephant!” 
“Hare Krishna, you two,” I answered wryly. It was the elephant—this was no 

“Bramasi-dar, I have a very serious question to ask of you. Is it possible that 
there is a rogue devotee poisoning the elements of truth in your movement here 
in New York?” The mood of the room changed suddenly, swiftly. You can 
forget that one of the prime influences of Krishna’s mission was his active 
annihilation of all manner of various degrees of demons who littered the 
countryside. They were legion, as in the time of Jesus, as now, and whether you 
see them as entities apart of as those elements of evil within our own corrupt 
and clouded hearts, they are very much alive to these Krishna people. A chill, 
that old, familiar cold black haid on the base of my spinal cord came over me. 
Oy vay, the karma I’ve had with that noise. Baby Krishna simply overtook their 


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plentiful powers with Infinite Power, and laughingly tossed them aside. And 
Jesus drove diose pigs of egos over the cliff. Maya-das got up and gathered the 
dishes, then gracefully left the room. The sun mementarily dimmed behind a 
cloud, and Bramasi-dar’s voice quieted to a strained whisper: 

“At first we thought that he might have been that devotee who became a 
follower of Lord Shiva, the one from Washington; often they are led astray as to 
the proper way of devotion. We were led to think otherwise when we found that 
he not only took money in the name of Lord Krishna for his own pocket, but 
while on one-man “kirtan” would find other kindred spirits and invite them to a 
mysterious rite of worship.” The simple logic which led Phil to the conclusion 
that the so-called Krishna devotee calling on our bomb factory commune was 
anything but flowed effortlessly into my head. “So we then deduced he was one 
of those misguided many only alive to the animal demands of his gross body, so 
much so that he worshipped them. We figured that those secret meanings were 
orgies of sense-gratification which have arisen in this black age of Kali-Yuga. 
Listen to this from the Mouth of Krishna.” He grabbed a copy of Prabhupad’s 
translation of the Bhagavad-Gita. “This is from 16:18-19: ‘Bewildered by false 
ego, strength, pride, lust and anger, the demonic man becomes envious of the 
Supreme Personality of Godhead, situated in his own body and in the bodies of 
others, and he blasphemes against this real religion. Such persons, who are 
envious, low and mischievous, I cast back into the ocean of material existence, 
into various demonic species of life.’ So Robbie-Prabhu, a frequent visitor to the 
temple here who had not then become a devotee and still resembled a 
householder, volunteered to go undercover and see for us to what extent this 
possessed miscreant was defiling the sweet divine One.” Phil visibly shuddered, 
and hundreds of spinal anaesthetics were shot along my back. Bramasi-dar’s tone 
intensified still three more levels. “When he came back to us, it was about four 
in the morning, as we performed morning arti. He fell to the floor among us; his 
eyes were wild, he was shaking and weeping, and he mumbled and cried terrible 
things. We gathered around him and chanted loudly, each one in his or her heart 
praying that the infinite mercy and shelter of Krishna and the glorious grace of 
Srila Prabhupada would relieve his torment. It was then we knew that there was 
in New York City an asura, a demon, posing (as they deviously do) as a devotee. 
Robbie soon could sleep, and awoke after some hours to the morning sun and 
some blissful prasad. Of all that has come of this, it is characteristic, as far as I 
have seen, of the mysterious and marvellous workings of Krishna that Bobbie 
should have been driven to become an initiate by this encounter.” A thunderclap 
flash hit me: what the hell was I going to face this forsaken day? It came like a 
blow on the head. But of a sudden the sun broke through the clouds and the 
strains of Govindam from George Harrison’s new album from the Radha-Krishna 
temple in London touched my ears, and the moment passed. But like all such 
moments, we try to rid ourselves of them as fast as we can, to ease the 
discomofrt; we should savor their import and heed the warning from the 
unconscious they bring. I passed it off, but I wish in retrospect that I had 
listened to myself. Neither Phil nor I felt as though we needed any detail of what 
Robbie had uncbrgone, and Bramasi-dar was not motivated to tell us. We all 
aready knew, it was common karma we three shared, and knew it. Phil observed 

Allen Jameson 


that from the witch Putana to the great demon Kaliya Krishna dealt most 
effectively with these forces. Bramasi-dar concluded simply that they were now 
awaiting a deliverer through whom Krishna was going to destroy this menance. 
Phil turned away towards the window, and the look on his face fully revealed in 
the sun made the ancient animal within me, roaring and afraid, cringe. 


We radioed in to verify whether J.J. had gone to the house of the Egyptian 
dealer. She had gone directly there, I guess there was little else for her to do. 
About this time—it was noon—there was little else for us to do also. Capt. 
Jenkins had checked with the narcs for any further details about the m.o. 
employed by the people in the house in scoring. Apparently the resident expert, 
Jerry Schmidt, was also a confirmed hashish addict. He usually went with the 
girl of Asian descent, parking their car in a back-alley garage and walking around 
front. They stayed an hour or two, then left. The visits were always made late in 
the night, after two. 

“Let’s duplicate that procedure,” Phil remarked. “They’ll be expecting a call 
from the police at some time this afternoon, but not us, and not from the back. 
We can look around that garage first.” 1 was getting a bit light-headed and spaced 
out, like you get after undergoing a lot of excitement on three hours sleep, so I 
acquiesced silently. I parked the clunker about a block away, and we 
nonchalantly sashayed down along the alleyway to the grey garage behind the 
Egyptian’s house. The structure was limp with disrepair, but tightly locked with 
a spiffy new padlock and chain. Phil pointed through the dirty glass pane: “Tell 
me everything you see that’s unusual.” He does that kind of thing sometimes, 
always good training for this line of work since it teaches one the virtue of 
scrupulous observation. It always reminds me of those little puzzles in Our 
Weekly Reader where there is a line drawing with screwdrivers for stickshifts and 
with birds hidden in the brambles when he pulls that, so I used to answer with “I 
see a robin, and a choo-choo-train, and a wombat, and a head of Belgian endive, 
and...” However, exhaustion has its way of muffling the clowns: Phil got along 
endlessly on a minimum of sleep, but I’m just no good without my nine hours. 
Of course I’m no good with my nine hours, but that’s another thing. So I stoop 
up on the long furrow of dirt where they had apparently dug a sewer line 
recently, and got a good look, as good as the dim light could afford. Inside were 
benches typical of garages, but in unusually good repair, especially considering 
the state of the outside. Sure an’ begor’ ‘tis the state of the goodly man, wrack 
an’ ruin without, pure and strong benches within. In fact... “That’s strange;” I 
was getting a pattern: “It looks like the outer building was just kept as a shell, 
and a whole new inner structure with a workshop of some kind was built on the 
inside.” “Right,” said Phil. “The door is just a reinforced version of the original 
door. Now, what kind of a shop is it?” “Uh, let’s see...those latches, torches. Oh, 
metalworking.” “Right again. Now, where do they put all that equipment when 
a 1959 Oldsmobile, which is a relative gunboat, parks in there once or twice a 
week.” Wow. Stumped again. It always aggravated me no end, because I knew 
that Phil knew the answer which could be deduced by simple logic. I was 
probably standing on the relevent clue, which is what in fact happened. As I was 


The A rchive 

pondering the situation, we went around to the front of the house. I noticed the 
huge 1930’s nobility of the edifice, and remarked how I was suprised that a 
foreign student could afford to rent the entire house. Phil answered: “Good 
point. He only pays rent to the landlord for the basement floor. However, the 
other three floors have gone mysteriously unrented for months indicating an 
anonymous payment for well over the actual rent. It has to be worth the 
realtor’s while to juggle a few books. And look, when we knock on the door, 
come off like you want to score.” The yard was ill-kept and sad, so I figured that 
he hadn’t been talking to his crabgrass enough to keep it happy. Although it was 
midday, the side door to the basement was on the shady side of the gloomy 
dwelling; it was like twilight. We knocked. 

“Who is there.” The deep melancholy voice from within was obviously 
foreign. 1 got on my best tennybopper voice. “Heey, man. This is Al, a friend of 
Gremshaw’s” (The name was always said with my hand across my mouth, 
hoping to make a sound that approximated the name of somebody everybody 
knows) “I was wondering if we could score some good hash.” I wasn’t very 
convincing, but the door opened anyway to the dimly lit room with a short, 
dark, balding, young, grief-stricken man filling what there was to see with an 
aura of morose resignation. He jerked his left hand back and said, “Enter my 
house.” I stepped down and in, with Phil behind me, and was about to go into 
my “Nice pad, let’s get stoned” routine when a whole lotta things happened at 
once. The door closed and it was very dark after having been outside; I heard 
Phil say “Hello, J.J.” and as I whirled around to see, I heard her say “You better 
get you hands up, Phil; you, too.” I started complying out of this old habit 1 
have, but Phil turned to the Egyptian and said the Islamic greeting, “Salaam 
Allah-kom, Abu Muslim a!-Khawlani” to which Abu Muslim said automatically 
“Allah-kom Salaam” in the manner of the lovers of Muhammad. I was 
wondering how the name of God Allah was spelled since they pronounced it like 
“alley” as 1 was trying to focus on the sight of J.J. standing before an altar of 
some sort placed at a window so she was in silhouette, as I was becoming 
increasingly more positive that she was wielding a Luger of all things and waving 
around like a conductor’s baton. And 1 was getting more confused by the 
second. “I said hands up, Phil,” she repeated. He continued to blow her off, 
much to my consternation, and proceeded as if nothing unusual were happening 
at all, still directing his attention to Abu Muslim: “Is this a proper way to be 
received by one who has the name of the Sufi uncle of the master Ibn 
al—‘Arabi,” Phil irrelevently commented. I started to say “uh, hey” when J.J., 
sounding a little more frenetic, levelled the gun at my naval and said to Phil (but 
referring to me) “I’m going to have to put a bullet in your friend there, Phil, if 
you don’t do what we say.” This was all happening fast, way, way too fast for 
me. “Uh, hey, Phil there,” I began, but he obstinately continued talking to Abu 
as if I had never been born: “The same uncle who would beat his legs when they 
were tired from standing in prayer, who protested to the Companions of 
Muhammad (the peace of God be upon them) that they should not have His 
companionship all to themselves but should be nudged aside by the devotion and 
desire of those who will come after; would he have greeted guests in this 

Allen Jameson 


manner?” Abu lowered his head thoughtfully as I was about to pull a Joe e. 
Brown yell to get everybody’s attention, when simultaneously J.J. said 
something about how she was sorry, but we knew too much (I was trying to tell 
her 1 didn’t know nothing’), Abu told her to stop, Phil lunged for the gun, and J. 
J. pulled the trigger. 

It was only the third or fourth time I had ever stood at gunpoint, and I just 
can’t handle it like James Bond yet. Ashamed though I am to admit it, I was 
shaking and desperate; I imagined the fan of flame and the bullet rippling into 
my body, and I fell back slightly. But Phil had the gun, and muttered that the 
safety was locked on it; Abu added that it wasn’t loaded anyway, and my eyes 
and J.J.’s met for a second realizing what a foolish charade we had just played. It 
only lasted a second, because J.J. lit into Abu for lotting us get the better of 
them when we’re cops, etc, her anger being obviously tinged with mortification. 
Abu spoke to Phil for the first time, and I had the feeling that J.J. and I were as 
important to the proceedings as two growling dogs and that any second we’d be 
whipped with newspaper. “You are right, friend. 1 have opened my house to 
you, and what is mine is yours. Accept my sincere remorse, and let me know I 
have your pardon, and that of your friend’s, too.” I was just glad to have a belly 
button that was still connected to the rest of me; my head was too light to make 
any coherent reply anyway. While it was cool that March, it wasn’t so bad that 
there needed to be a fire in the fireplace at midday, but the small one behind me 
cast some light in this room too filled with objects of various cultures to be 
caught in a single glance. The flickering shadow I cast was matched by the 
silhouette of J.J. moving cautiously before the one window with the blinds 
drawn. I realized that this was an eastern window, thus the altar was placed 
before it. The light and shade of it, the chiaroscuro of motion had caught up my 
fancy: I hadn’t connected J.J.’s movements with any foul play. Meanwhile the 
ritual rap went on: 

“Of course you are pardoned, for in your grief at having lost your beloved 
one, many amenities are also lost. Is it not near the time to pray? 

“Yes, sooa My heart is heavy at the loss of Su-Shiu; she was my freedom and 
burden all at once. She was fiercely dedicated, like the hawk, and only rarely 
would she deem me worthy of a downward glance.” 

‘“Seek wisdom, even as far as China;”’ this Islamic proverb provoked a 
thoughtful smile on the face of Abu. An inkling of the big picture was coming to 
me, finally. God, I’m stupid...the Chinese girl was Abu’s lover, not Jerry 
Schmidt’s. “Oh, I get it,” I broke in: “Their house was a commune of dedicated 
Weathermen, and you , Abu, run a station house for arms and munitions, your 
garage is a workshop where guns are reassembled from components, and 
whenever those two visited, they were being secretly loaded for bear with 
military hardware and the like, and the stuff was unloaded from underneath the 
car and transferred to Schmidt’s underground bomb factory.” I stopped for a 

"Well, my friend, that is not quite right. My presence here, this dealing of 
hash, is only a front for my brother and his friends who have been importing 
shipments of guns disguised as shipments of high-grade hashish in turn disguised 


The Archive 

as computer components. That way many were thrown off the track. But I am 
indeed devoted to my studies, and have far more interest in the poetry of Islam 
than these petty political matters. But our father was killed by his involvement 
in Algeria, and his brother had before him been in Palestine after a rare flower 
among these warriors. While she and I spent those few hours a week together, 
her compatriot would go upstairs and gather the equipment for each 
shipment...” “Aha, hidden in those rooms upstairs,” 1 broke in. 

“Not exactly, Al,” Phil corrected. “Through an intricate system of 
passageways in the walls themselves; the rooms had to be bare in case of 
searches. And the stuff was simply loaded and unloaded in the trunk of the car; 
none of these explosives were volatile until they had undergone more chemical 
transformations in the laboratory. Oh, and what about the sewer line?” 

“Hm. Sewers were put in these houses in the 20’s...made to look like a 
drainage ditch, its actually an underground walkway to a chamber beneath the 
garage. If Alexander Pople could do it, why not the guerillas?” 

“Not exactly a passageway; just a crawl space, I’m afraid.” That was the clue 
I was standing on. “Now it is time for me to offer up prayer.” 

“That’ll have to wait for Sunday, now Abu!” Aw, shit; J.J.; I squeezed my 
eyes tight, knowing that when I opened them again that she would have found a 
loaded gun and would be pointing it at my proboscis. I wasn’t disappointed. 
Freaked out, but not disappointed. “These cops know too much, and too much 
rides on this place not getting busted. They got to go—and you understand that, 
Phil, you once believed in this movement.” 

“I still believe in the outcome, but revolutions come from within, within the 
state, the movement, the individual.” When he talked like that he was generally 
stalling for time. I saw him non-chalandy slip one of those tennis-balls of hash 
that we’d recovered this morning from out of his pocket. “It can’t get like 
Northern Ireland in this country, too. Too many children die at the same time. 
Over one hundred bombings in schools alone in this country last year—that 
should double in 197 5.” Gads, I was getting ready, but I couldn’t figure his ace 
in the hole, unless he was going to start slinging hash. And when he started 
slinging hash, needless to say, I wasn’t at all ready. He threw the hash ball in the 
fireplace, took a diving leap behind a sofa, and yelled out “Duck, Al!!” while I 
stood there with my finger in my nose. J.J. nearly dropped her gun in the 
confusion of the moment, then caught my eye for a full second as she hesitated 
on the brink of actioa I took the dive as per instructions, and as I went down 
there was a flash of fire from the fireplace, a small detonation. Phil hopped up 
spryly, and when I raised up I saw Abu had not moved from his position the 
entire time. It was he who spoke first: “Allah’s works are myriad and 
my sterious. I felt that if it were a bomb, there should be no better time to die. 
And yet now that I see it is not, I have a great sense of peace, as if something 
within me was to perish in that flame. It is as my small death compared to her 
great one now has given me freedom.” 

“And I am happy to have all my doubts erased completely,” Phil added in 
that goddern enigmatic tone that always follows explosions and shit. 

“Are you people mad}" That was J.J.; and I couldn’t help adding a “yeah” of 
my own. 

Allen Jameson 


listen to me. The people in that house didn’t die by accident—they were 
murdered. Somebody sold Schmidt a hash ball filled with a new type of plastic 
explosive based on four derivatives of lead: its just appearing now in Nam. A guy 
finds a lighter, tries it once, and there is a tremendous explosion. Nitro explodes 
out at 8,000 feet per second, and this stuff tops 25, maybe 30,000 f.p.s. It was 
first used by the Weathermen in ‘69—but whoever sold it to Jerry Schmidt had 
his complete trust and confidence. The explosive was stolen from his own 
laboratory and hand pressed into balls of Lebanese hash and then sold back to 
him. The hash, sandy and malleable, accepted the gelatinous consistency of the 
explosive perfectly. Three of the five balls we found were ready to burst into 
flames a minute or two after they were ignited.” 

We could see J.J. wasn’t listening after the first few lines of Phil’s revelation. 
Phil had seen the mess all along; I just verbalized the final details. “Our rogue 
Krishna devotee-cum-demon; Lord, that was demonic. He...” 

“That little creep killed my brother. I’ll murder that little motherfucker, I’ll 
get him, so help me God...” Phil grabbed her as she passed by, she buried her 
head into his shoulder. “Ah, Bill, Bill...” She wept like a grieving Indian woman. 
Abu began his afternoon prayer: “Al’hamdu Li’llah...” And it was a moment 
within a moment, a timeless time. There was an unfathomable calm spread 
across the face of the afternoon, and I also felt a measure of peace within. This 
was necessary, because I was again given an intimation of the coming events of 
the night, the inexorable predestined duty Phil and I would perform, and this 
Spontaneous meditation as Abu prayed, J.J. silently wept, and Phil bowed with 
the music of the prayer filled me with strength and determination. 


“And all this business about the house being an easy mark for donations to 
splinter religious groups, that was a ploy too?” 

Phil leaned back on the front seat and yawned. I could see him dredging up 
vital energy from within and suppressing the electrical-nervous energy most 
familiar to Scorpios. “It was a brilliant set-up, Al. The, uh, Panthers, for 
instance. They needed small arms, hand-guns, plastic explosive; dress a car like it 
belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and get the plumpest girl and thinnest guy 
you could find in the group. They would back the car up to the garage and go 
around front look naive and in need of money, carrying thirty copies of the 
Watcbtower. Let them appear to be having a lot of success talking to these kids, 
say two guys and a girl, at the door; a lot of interaction...” 

“...that the officers staked out would be busily noting while in the meantime 
the other members of the commune were loading their car with whatever had 
been ordered. That’s incredible. And the real dealer, all the while, pulled not 
incense but hashish from his saffron satchel. He certainly knew his timing.” It 
has been a cool night, so all the windows were down: that botdes up an 
explosion like a cherry bomb in a bottle. So in bomb drills, unlike fire drills, 
open every window there is. If the windows in that house had been down, J.J.’s 
brother on that upper story might have survived. 

“Yes he did. It was a miracle that J.J. happened to be out walking.” He didn’t 
elaborate for me at all. As we pulled into the station house to check in with the 
car, I finally popped the key question in all of this kind of wierd senseless 


The Archive 

murder. I asked Phil what the motive was. He looked me straight in the eye after 
we parked, with that look that Scorpios give when they’re looking into your 
center spirit and said simply: “There wasn’t any.” That’s all there was. Limply, I 
added: “1 guess de devil make him do it.” Oh, but that line fell so very flat. We 
went inside, checked in, filled in Capt. Jenkins with every detail. We had spent 
another couple of hours with Abu and J.J. in the house sitting and rapping. She 
decided to give herself over to the authorities; no charges were pressed and now 
she does drug work up in Harlem. Abu wanted to go back home. He recently 
sent us a prayer rug. 

Yeah. Well, I’ve studiously avoided this last part of this day until the very 
end. First, let me polemicize so we all know where we stand. One of the most 
incredible people in my life was an elderly woman from Washington who had 
known the family of the boy who was demonically possessed in 1949 around my 
birthday. I understand they are writing a book based loosely on the incident, 
which will no doubt scintillate everybody’s curiosity bone and make it a 
best-seller. Well, I’ve had the real karma with the diabolic: even as a young child 
I was carried by the Mediaeval worshippers of Satan in my nightmares, carried to 
the sacrificial table, my screams in vain. I have known two men in pacts with the 
devil. As a freshman, when one of them held his black masses in the dorms late 
at night. I would go and pray for those poor souls driven by their sensationalism 
to sit in. I spent a night with him locked in St. Patrick’s—we both were tripping, 
and his friends visited with him the entire time. Please believe me when I say 
that it is sheerest ignorance of the kind which brings only absolute separation 
and suffering; worse than swine are they who court these things. It is not 
thrilling, potent, tempting, naughty, sensual, oh-so-exciting. It is more horrible 
than the blackest nightmare you ever wished yourself dead to escape from. I 
know this to be true from actual experience and you do not. Please please please 
believe me in this alone. They’ll probably make a movie about this case of 
possession and it’ll make millions and people’s imaginations will be irreparably 
scarred by the images they will see. I wonder if they know how many men, how 
many days and long nights, how many putrid moments passed before this young 
man was freed. I wonder if that unmistakeable face of possession will be truly 
shown, the smells, the body being eaten alive, the fear like no fear can ever ever 
be, the astounding bravery of those priests who were just men and not saints 
standing before this grotesque bowel of creation protesting the name of Christ 
before the devil and his minions. No, its no game. So when Phil and I entered the 
apartment where the demon-devotee held his masses, and were told to strip and 
handed the cloaks, we took it as no mean act in our be willing to march 
into hell for a heavenly cause. The voluptuous nude girl lounged on the altar, the 
black and red candles were lit, the signs and anagrams of the names of God were 
written all around, the silver knife cleft the Bible in two, lascivious looks, 
knowing glances passed around. It was crowded. As we had arranged, I would 
just keep looking down and repeating various mantras (like the one my 
grandmother taught me to use if I was ever caught in a situation like a senace or 
place where murders had occurred, where astral demons and disembodied spirits 
grovelled around: ‘I clothe myself all around in Radiant White Light, Christ’s 
immunity,’ and see yourself surrounded by light). I said the mass, chanted the 

Allen Jameson 


Krishna mantra, said Islamic prayers, chanted Buddhist mantras, anything. I 
didn’t listen, I out myself off. I prayed for the other souls around and about, I 
didn’t look up. So for lush details of the occurrence I’m an unreliable narrator. I 
saw it begin, the doors locked, the familiar droning taken up by the initiates. 
Phil chanted loudly with them, loud enough to drown out my dissonant 
dissidence; his right hand he made in the shape of a blessing I’d once seen in a 
Byzantine painting, his thumb and Apollo (ring) finger touching. His left hand 
was interlocked with it in an unfamiliar gesture, obviously a mode of locking out 
evil entities. I heard him begin the drone: ogdol azrazel gogralal and on and on. I 
was shivering so hard my whispering voice quivered. This went on interminably, 
and then the host and chaplain of our mass, the devotee-demon raised his voice 
loudly in a cry for his attendant and apparent familiar in the underworld. Cedn. 
Much cajoling and crying and wailing of twisted words came before the swaying 
redlit worshippers were treated to a manifestation of the figure they’d been 
responsible for calling. I didn’t look up from that time on. I’d seen the show 
already. Just wish I hadn’t. After a little while longer, I realized a shift of wind 
in my lungs, the stifling odor of devil’s dung and asafoetida cleared, and Phil 
nudged me. I knew then that a “path” had been cleared to my spirit and that 
they were on to what I was doing. O.k., I thought. I’m going to finally face this 
fear and stand up to it. I was about to rise up and shout when Phil stepped 
forward for me, veritably rushing the altar, and crying out “In the name of God 
and all His Power I command the forces of darkness.” Instantaneously, the 
candles were blown out and a great chorus of roaring and crying arose, Phil and 
the black forces struggling in a Zoroastrian primal conflict. I heard him 
demanding the name of Cedn from the demon’s own mouth in order to gain 
control, and in the swirling rush of wind and chaos in the room, 1 thought I 
heard the men breaking down die door from the outside. Philip had asked for an 
hour in the apartment before his father’s men should bust out anonymous rogue 
Krishna devotee for eight counts of first degree murder. That was important at 
the station a while back, but it was miniscule in importance to what as in fact 
happening. Phil must have achieved something, because the forces keeping the 
door gave way and the police broke through. Instantly, as they turned on all the 
lights, the wind and wailing stopped, as it of course logically must. Phil stood 
apart behind the altar naked, thin and strong, quivering with a recent triumph. 

The other people around me looked like cattle, at least their eyes were round 
and staring. The cops were really speechless. One began, “What in hell went on 
in here,” but was immediately answered by the leader of this horror show: 
“Exactly, officer. Now, if you step any closer, I will ignite this explosive.” He 
had produced a butane lighter and one of those hash balls, and held the two 
dangerously close together. They looked at him as if he were crazy, which was 
justifiable, but they obviously had no idea of the power of that new explosive. 
What Phil had tossed in the fireplace had been a hash ball scooped out, and just 
the thinnest residue had caused a flash of fire. This much explosive could be 
volcanic. “Don’t move, he’s serious,” Phil interposed, but I guess one patrolman 
didn’t recognize him in his wild nakedness, and drew his pistol. There was a 


The Archive 

gutteral laugh from the priest, and I saw him hold the burning ball high. In the 
seconds as it burned through the has people gasped and tried to push away, Phil 
took a dive, a shot rang out and it suddenly happened. A ball of flame engulfed 
the center of the room, there was a rush of heat and the noise of burning, and a 
scream of ungodly origin sliced through the minds of everyone there. A piece of 
burning flesh knocked against my neck and my eyes and ears were choked. I fell 
down, and vomited. 

There was chaos and smoke everywhere, and screams fell like darts in the 
room. Willing my mind into rational process, I went over my body to ascertain 
whether there was any real damage. I felt better after vomiting, and a cop had 
had the presence of mind to get a fire extinguisher. The flame had engulfed and 
departed, and I remembered back to the old lady who heard the long piercing 
scream before the detonation. There must have been fire in his lungs as he pulled 
smoke from that loaded ball of hash; the explosion must have come when the 
fire spread to a volatile chemical, in turn detonating with enough explosive force 
to immediately set everything else in that lab off at the same time. I pushed my 
way out of that room, tossed off the cloak and rummaged in the next room for 
my clothes. I was oblivious to the cries of pain of the people inside; it was 
self-protection. As it turned out only five people died, the ones close to the 
altar. The others got off with burns, some minor. Looking on the floor for my 
sock, 1 heard somebody come into the room. It was Phil, wrapped in a curtain, 
burned in spots but alive. I was in real deep shock, as you can guess, but I stood 
up, tried to catch hold of myself, and just sort of stared at him a while. He 
looked mat me. And then he smiled a beautiful and warm grin, as if to thank me 
and tell me he loved me at once. I took it in, and went back after my sock. 


I spent the weekend with my parents. It was calm, even, banal, necessary for 
the healing of my mental wounds. As with the ever-increasing incidents of 
bombing in this country, only the house explosion got into the newspapers. 
Hundreds of bombings are kept out of the media by common consent, to 
prevent hysteria. Only the really big ones, which everybody sees, get national 
prominence. I took my sister to see Fantasia for the sixteenth time; I wish I 
could live in Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony —Land with all the flying horses and 
centaurs and fauns. I visited an old, old, girl friend Saturday night. She is a 
Jewish-American princess, you know, but God what a sweet joy and relief it was 
to be with her, to talk to her. Nobody asked me what I did last Thursday and it 
was kept confidential. You are the first to know, actually. I rode the subways 
and I loved the faceless multitudes who passed me by, the ever-renewing sea of 
humanity, fresh and good. I spent a day with almost no fear, and I tried to live 
from then on like life was the most precious gift one ever gets, but a gift given 
by the cosmic Indian-giver, a gift ripped from your grasp when it is its most 
desired. I tried to let go gracefully; but it takes a smile in passing, and gives the 
sense of failure to any trials. Life is a jest, truly, but it is in understanding God’s 
sense of humor the secret lies. 


Boy Presumed Drowned In Lake Superior 

the one whose eye is air 

sees birches rise white fountains 

shoot green leaves that fall to earth yellow 

the one whose skin is space 
feels layers of brown fields 
through which a boulder slowly moves 

the one whose mind is sea 
drowses under ice or wakes under sun 
but cannot suspect the strange thing 
among deep snagging rocks 
quickly losing its starlike shape 

Rick Stansberger 


Alfred Starr Hamilton 


Wherever I wandered mostly 
Wherever I found a violet 
Wherever I tossed a violet by the seashore 

Wherever I wanted to he mostly 

In and amongst the mountainous crags 
Wherever I found a violet by the seashore 

And during the enraptured silence 

Against the might of the enraptured pin 
And in and amongst the sharpened crags 

Wherever I counted the purple stars 
That fell off the lightened sunshine 
Purple as the night of the night watchman 

Wherever I reached to have touched the sun’s rays 
Wherever I pinned my enraptured hand mostly 
And touched the ocean spray 

Wherever I wandered mostly 

Wherever I played with the sun and the enchanted winds 
And during the night of the purple watchman 

Wherever I wanted to he mostly 

Light as a feather during the enchanted sunshine 
White as the might of the ocean main 

Wherever I wandered mostly 
Wherever I found a violet 
Wherever I tossed a violet by the seashore 


Two poems 

The Light of the Hours 

Stems on the wetting ground, 
steeped in waiting 
for the petal to flower. 

As the light leaves, 

the shadow remains within the bloom: 
an ancestor feeding on light. 

1 lose you to the grasses. 

They rotate their sounds. 

What has lit your eyes darkens in mine. 

The Sunflower Gatherers 

In the length of another 

my body falls away: 

sunflowers leaning into one another. 

Picked out of the silence 
and rounded out of the hill, 

We bring the black suns to our table. 

We attend the flower 

we have never know the memory of. 

Claudia March Wischner 


Tim Westmoreland 

Two poems 

Parkway Lake in Winter 

The ice is smooth 

is white almost as the snow on the banks, 
but as 1 walk along the edges 
wanting toward the center 
into the center 
to the lake 

I see and hear (1 force) 

whiter, cracking spears of lightning across the cover. 

So I simply slide 
not far from shore, 
slowly and afraid of water. 

I heard water sounds 
and saw a gap in far ice, 
lightning to the gap. 

Silver and spray flashed brightly 
into the cold air. 

Beside the hole: 

fish flopping 

wet fish from under the ice 


fish still 

Double Room in the Hospital 

In the corner of the pale green walls 
while my mother mourns my young father: 
the hiss of the shallow useless breaths 
of the old man whom I hear and hate. 


Tom Kale 

Born with his teeth in, died with them out. 

Pie-eyed and musty with gin, no doubt 
dog-tired after a day’s work: 
the chopper caught him in the wheat field 

and hurt him so much I put my fists in my ears to block the sound: 
but only the quick touch of the blades came to me 
across the wheat. 

Charles J. 



John Stevenson 

Ariel’s Lie: The Fading 

Turning my collar to the cold, I return, 

Survey the scene. 

It all looks too small: 

Those trees, dependable pines dismayed now 
At the intermixed intrusion of fall’s old 
Rotten rags of color, 

Are too few, too thin, too short. 

That nurse, wizened upon her bench, 

White dress stark against the drab autumn park, 

Can she so dominate that child 

Whose every movement waits on her approval? 

A swing swings; 

I sit, so that it 

May swing still, not be still yet. 

The seat, too narrow, squeezes me, 

Tightening my memories, my poor mocked memories, 
All so small, so very small 
To me, a momentary rocker, 

Swinging amid a past 

The present is too poor to restore 


James Dunbar 

Abbotsford (Home Of Sir Walter Scott J 

It is as he wished it, as he made it so; 

Forging from misfortune this firm defense 
Against the effects of time 

For the enjoyment of his latter days, which are come. 
The smith’s, the mason’s, the joiner’s hand his own, 
That with a pen wrote out the lay of lawns, 

The tale of rooms and halls, raised the walls 
And decorated all from his antique eye 
That curved in “leafy tracery” 

With many a “freakish knot” 

About, behind the years to grasp the quiet grace 
Denied his race, but fought for and deserved. 


Brooke Davis 

Hamada Bowl 

A slim song 

Crystallized from the smooth curve of eternity 
Breathing lightly 
In my hands. 

Born of earth 
Risen from water 
Captured in fire 
Resting in air 

The living memory of what remains 
When again this bowl is dust. 

Dallas Newsom 

God Give Us Men 

(Upon news of the Teapot Dome Scandal) 

Ah, when I see a great majestic nation 
Holding sway o’er all the powers of earth, 
Shaped by gigantic men who nursed her birth, 
While every race, with silent admiration 
Looks unto her to save from desolation: — 

When I look out and see her sons of worth, 

Her chosen leaders go as traitors forth 
And bring high honor unto desecration — 
Majestic Ship of State far off her course 
Astray amid the muck and slime and fen 
When all her mighty steel with pride and force 
Belongs unto the deep, with forward ken; 

I look again upon her noble source 

And cry, “God give us men! God give us men!” 

W3m‘ : m m 

*.lyT ■ 

ffl CkIt 

r ■ * ST/ ■ 



Helen Bevington, Beautiful Lofty People. New York: Harcourt Brace 
Javanovich, Inc., 1974. pp. xiv, 228. $7.95. 

Those who have suffered the slings and arrows of Mrs. Bevington’s gentle 
criticism (“Are you sure you read the poem, dear?”) will be gratified to learn 
they’re not the only ones. In Beautiful Lofty People she exposes D. H. Lawrence 
as a prude, Lord Byron as an obese undergraduate, and Emily Dickinson as a 
hermit, with the same indulgence she bestows on the hapless sophomore who 
lauds Keats’s “Isabella.” For Mrs. Bevington, in class and in her new book, 
wounds only to heal, and the wounding is redeemed by generous praise if the 
offenders be “lofty in their search for something, or in their singular view of 

The searchers range from chaste Dorothy to Bet Flint, a drunken harlot. In 
light, sometimes witty essays, the author offers engaging anecdotes or reveals 
personality quirks that do much to humanize both literary all-stars and everyday 
folk. Montaigne achieved a “scandalous serenity” despite constant pain from the 
stone; Madame de Seveigne, though adored by the French literati of her time, 
spent her last twenty-five years writing anguished, unrequited love letters to her 
proud and aloof daughter. And Bet Flint’s lusty memoirs got a critical reading 
from none other than Dr. Johnson. 

Mrs. Bevington knows and loves her beautiful lofty people, and portrays them 
as one would portray intimate friends. Not surprisingly she is best in writing of 
her wordly companions, those she has seen and known in life rather than in 
literature, and in writing about herself. Any attempt to render a person’s 
individuality—a gossamer, living quality — is far more difficult if one must 
depend only on written sources (plus a thoughtful imagination). It is a tribute to 
her artistry that the “historical” sketches suceed as well as they do; when she has 
the added tool of personal contact her essays are often brilliant. 

“Niki and the Four-Day Classical Tour” is particularly well done — a 
humorous/poignant tale of the author’s alternately harrowing and uplifting bus 
tour through Greece. With compassion and lively intelligence Mrs. Bevington 
sketches the characters on the modern-day odyssey: the German professor with 
his “heavy-faced” wife; the honey-mooning French couple (sigh!); the 
descendant of Anne Bradstreet — all led by Niki, the tour guide who calls them 
“my children.” The author’s rapture in viewing the ancient Greek relics is 
intense without being sentimental, and her portrait of Niki — a vivacious teacher, 


utterly devoted to her role as keeper of the past for thousands of tourists — falls 
gracefully between arid reportage and effusive panegyric. 

This felicitous combination of love and witty insight is behind the best of 
Beautiful Lofty People. Often it occurs in the many light-verse poems that 
complement the essays, notably “The Man Montaigne” and “A Tourist to 
Byzantium.” In the latter the author sets sail for Yeats’s holy city in search of 
“the heaven of the mind,” only to find, after trials and tribulations aboard an 
Italian Line steamship, “Nothing! Nothing but Turks in Istanbul. Nothing.” 

Yet, as Mrs. Bevington intimates throughout her book, it’s the setting sail that 
matters. Attainment seems much less important to the beautiful lofty people she 
describes. Whether it be T.S. Eliot’s effort to find Litde Gidding (“It is here and 
nowhere,” he wrote), or an undergraduate’s struggle to understand Keats, there 
is nobility in the “search for something.” Mrs. Bevington writes about it, with 
humor and compassion, as only a fellow-searcher can. 

Tom Noland 

Charles E. Johnson, London Bridge in Arizona, A Novel. Cambridge: published 
by Charles E. Johnson, 1973. 55 pps. $1.25 

Mr. Johnson’s little book, though subtitled A Novel, might as well have been 
called a poem in prose. In fact its author has derived his literary scheme and 
many of his details, too ostentatiously for some tastes, from T. S. Eliot’s The 
Waste Land, much as Eliot used to borrow situations from predecessors. It was 
Joyce’s Ulysses, followed by Pound’s Cantos, that made the practice flagrant in 
the 1920’s. In the spirit of a custom going back to antiquity, countless writers 
then imitiated a Frankenstein fashion of rattling old bones over. London Bridge 
in Arizona reminds me, however, of another such work, The Llamlet of A. 
MacLeish, in being highly introspective; and like MacLeish’s poem it screams 
with pain. 

That this book is derivative in manner and form does not, of course, diminish 
its possible value as a testament. Mr. Johnson was once a Presbyterian chaplain 
at Duke; but I have no idea whether his second-person interior monologue (an 
awkward form, by the way) disguises personal disillusionment and a crisis of 
religious faith. My guess is that the Waste Land— like form exaggerates what 
personal elements lie behind the narrative. Certainly the esthetic interest here 
depends solely on a creative correlation with The Waste Land and on a fictive 
self-identification of the protagonist with Eliot himself, both of which 
procedures are nearly enough successful to justify the publication. 

Grover Smith 


A Conceited And Most Impious Contemplation Of The Glory Of The 
Archive: A Poem 

I say to myself, “But of course, 

The Archive could somehow be worse. 

Just how, I don’t know- 
It is really quite low— 

Like the grass that’s passed out of a horse.” 

Just taking a guess out of hand, 

I would say that the editor’s damned 
To choose between limpid 
And just plain insipid, 

And stuff only God understands. 

An example or so may suffice 
To protect me from clamors of, “Bias!” 
(One cannot help but think 
Of the waste of good ink 
And the lack of good sense it implies): 

“swirling water treads ghost-like, my toes 
breathe in its loving, exploding, enclose 
my sacred foot’s soul...” 

And yet, on the whole, 

It’s not too much worse than the prose. 

I don’t comprehend why it’s better 
(Except for the lazy type-setter) 

To cummingly scrawl 
Without commas at all, 

And with never a capital Letter. 


Now with meter nor rhythm nor flow 
Do these modern pedestrians go. 

“To hell with the rhyme!” 

(It takes too much time) 

So with newness of chaos they glow. 

Indentation is fun, and what’s more, 

It makes verse what was nothing before. 

At first it is fun 
To read verse on the run. 

But it soon turns a terrible bore. 

Utter silliness sometimes is right. 

And the poet is bound to take flight 
With passions and burnings 
And undefined yearnings 
But with decrease in heat, and more light. 

You disparage these limericks that mock at thee 
(They suit vehicle’s purpose, as in rocketry). 

I sing not of art, 

But of those that take part, 

In the Archive’s unchaste mediocrity. 

Charles King 


Notes on Contributors 

JAMES APPLEWHITE is an assistant professor of English at Duke. He is 
presently preparing his first volume of poetry for publication. 

JAMES AULD is a professor of French at Duke. 

JANE BERLIN is a senior psych major and has lived long enough to be from 

HOLLY BRUBACH’s favorite artist is Pablo Picasso, who has never contributed 
to the Archive. 

BROOKE DAVIS, a sophomore philosophy major from New York City, had 
the consummate wisdom to also major in English. 

SALLY DONNELL is a sophomore from Winnetka, Illinois. She is majoring in 

JAMES DUNBAR, who contributed to the Archive last semester, is studying for 
his masters degree in English at Duke. His poem, “Abbotsford (home of Sir 
Walter Scott),” won honorable mention in the 1974 American Academy of 
Poets contest. 

BETSY ELKINS is a sophomore art major. 

GEORGANN EUBANKS, sophomore, public policy studier, and German 
scholar, is from Atlanta. 

BUZZ FONG is a sophomore chemistry major. 

FLORRIE FUNK is not a pseudonym. She is working with James Applewhite 
this semester and likes to dance. 

ALFRED STARR HAMILTON is perhaps one of the most prolific poets ever to 
have lived. Nearly sixty, he writes, on the average, 12 poems a day. 

TOM HOUSE is building up quite a reputation. He has appeared in previous 


ALLEN JAMESON, a perfect Leo, is now perfecting a new detective. 

PETER KLAPPERT, winner of the 1970 Yale Younger Poets Award, will be 
reading at Duke in April. 

JIM KRAILLER is an eminent proponent of the “Cincinnati” school of poetry. 
DONNA LANDRY won this year’s American Academy of Poets contest. 

DENISE LEVERTOV’s latest book is The Poet in the World, an enjoyable and 
valuable collection of essays and prose pieces. 

LEE LOURDEAUX is Lee Lourdeaux is Lee Lourdeaux. 

DAVID MANGUM is a 26-year old native-resident of Jackson, Mississippi, whose 
first novel, The Fargus Technique, was called “a work of obvious intelligence 
and promising craftsmanship ” by the New York Times. 

CHARLES J. MATTHEWS can do nothing but play the piano. 

STEVEN MILLER is a senior art major. 

DALLAS WALTON NEWSHAM (Trinity, Class of 99) was Treasurer of Trinity 
College. Some poems are always timely. 

TOM NOLAND, former Archive editor, recently transferred to a small private 
school in New Haven, only to discover that you can’t go home again and that 
north is not always toward home. 

STEPHEN ROJAC, dressed and alive, he wonders if time is, indeed sex and sex 
the connection of all circuits. 

JULIE ROSS is a freshman who paints, sculpts, howls and raises 
periodically-dying goldfish and kites. 

HERMAN SALINCER is a professor of comparative literature at Duke. 

EVE S1LBEKMAN a winner in the 1973 Mademoiselle fiction contest, has 
studied with Reynolds Price. 

DONALD SLOWIK is studying creative writing under Donald Slowik. One of the 
“Cincinnati poets, "he is one of the “Cincinnati poets. ” 

GROVER SMITH, distinguished critic and professor of English at Duke, 
teaches Eliot, Joyce, and students, among others. 

HELEN SMITH is a Durhamite whose work has appeared in past Archives. 

RICH STANSBERGER, a heavy-set man with a bearded voice, is a founder of 
the “Cincinnati” school of poetry. 

JOHN STEVENSON is still holding more than he’s showing and showing more 
than he holds. 

JEEE TALMADGE had a run of luck and was elected president, received 
honorable mention in the American Academy of Poets contest, and was 
published in the Archive. A good week. 

VALE R1E rROF AT IER, a junior, majors in art and makes great lasagna. 

ROBYN UNDERHAHL is a junior English major from Winona, Minnesota. She 
has studied writing with Gerald Monsman. 

TIM WESTMORELAND appears elsewhere. 

CLAUDIA MARCH WISCHNER is a nocturnal flower. She is working on a 
manuscript of beatific poems at beatific Goddard College. 

MARK WINGES has been published in Clifton magazine. He sometimes explores 
the vagaries of concrete poetry. 

The Archive regrets that three poems of Mike Ellsworth were published as one 
poem, “Nostalgia Land, ” in the fall Archive. 


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Sheep Shearing, Milking, 
Blacksmithing, Weaving, 
Quilting, Pottery, Natural 
Dyeing, Log Cabin Building, 
Instrument Making, Square 
Dancing, Clog Dancing, Story 
Telling, Ballad Singing, Music 
Workshops and Other Craft 
Demonstrations, Barbeque, Ad 
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Another Event 

sponsored by the Duke University Union and ASDU 


Every piece of art — the individual painting, print, drawing, or photograph — 
is viewed by its creator as a thing separate unto itself. Therefore, this book is 
designed so that it can be cut apart (along its spine) so that each work contained 
within it can be viewed alone, for its own individual merits, so that you can 
appreciate each work in somewhat the same way its maker did. 

Or viewed another way, what you have here is THE ARCHIVE’S 
MAKE—IT- YOURSELF MINI-POSTER KIT. We hope you enjoy all 

Table of Contents 

Group I 

Duke’s art: some of it, Spring, 1973 

Group II 

Duke’s art: some of it, 1950 to 1970 

Group III 

Duke’s photography: some of it, Spring, 1973 

W. K. STARS ink drawing 
Spring, 1 973 

The classroom is the shell 
The student is the oyster 
The teacher is the irritant 
The result is the pearl 

ANNE WALLACE linoleum block print 
Spring, 1973 


Spring, 1973 

Spring, 1973 

Spring, 1973 

JAN LINDEN sneaker 
Spring, 1973 

Spring, 1973 

Spring, 1973 

HARRY C. STOKES eat at maxy’s 
December, 1967 

BARBARA THOMPSON view from a highway intersection 
April, 1965 

VERNON PRATT seated fi 
October, 1959 

JEFF DERECKI leavetaki 
October, 1959 

LARRY FUNK bus stop 
May, 1967 

VERNON PRATT reclining figure 
March, 1960 

WEN-CHI KAO KONG ink wash on rice paper 
November, 1963 

W. K. STARS man 
May, 1970 











Do not be deceived. Fun'ez is a bonafide subdivision of 
The Archive Corporation, specializing in products that 
provide fun and entertainment for the entire family. 
Located in Durham, North Carolina, The Archive 
Corporation is the oldest of its kind in the South. Since 
1887 it has been a leader in such dynamic and 
ever-expanding technological fields as human experiential 

The Archive Corporation. 

Not just the arts, reality. 

“Been at Duke so long it looks like up to me.” 

Art McTighe, 1968 

Table of Contents 

Name: Work Page 

Do Not Be Deceived 1 

Steve Cohen: The First Day of Class 2 

Pa tri ck G ray: Cra vity Dispro ved 3 

Bill Marquess: The Sack of the Scholar 6 

Six Great Americans: The Great American 

Short Story 8 

Worthington Ellington: The Night of the 

Dead Living 12 

Bob Heller: Four Years Before the Buck 19 

Messages from Our Sponsor 22 

“It’s the finest school in the country, except for the University of 

a Durham resident, 1972 

The First Day 
of Class 

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Triviology 61. I am 
your professor, Dr. N. Somnia. Although this is the first time I’m teaching 
this course, it should be a very good semester, as I am one of the 
internationally recognized experts in this field. 

Before we get underway, I’d like to take care of some initial business. 
First, I will pass around the room a copy of the syllabus. You will note that 
all reading for this course is on 30-minute reserve in the East Campus Library. 
I chose to do this so that everyone would have equal access to the reading. 
There are also seven books that you are required to buy. Although we won’t 
use them in the course, I think you should have them for personal reference. 
You'll notice that they are all authored by me and published by the Filmore 
Tyler College Press. 

Oh - one other thing about the books. The Duke and Durham bookstores 
couldn’t order them in time, so you’ll have to purchase them at the bookstore 
at UNC-Greensboro. 

Now, turning to the subject you all like best - grades. Ha. Ha. 

Now, I think the grading system as it now stands is grossly unfair. It does 
not measure the value of a student’s work, but only reflects a professor’s 
arbitrary judgment. However, we all must live within the system, mustn’t we? 

Therefore, we will have three hourlies, five short quizzes, two term papers, 
and a final exam. 

But, to make it easier on the student, I am going to allow you to choose 
between two options. Under the first plan, you can take 3 of 5 short quizzes 
and write 2 term papers and take either 2 out of 3 hourlies or the final, or 
take all 3 hourlies and write one term paper and take 4 out of 5 quizzes and 
drop the 2 lowest grades, inclusive. 

The second plan is for those who prefer doing a number of shorter papers 
instead of one long paper. For one of the term papers, you may substitute a 
series of 87 Vi-paqe essays. Three are due at the beginning of each class period. 
Each one should be a synthesis of at least one major book. 

Now, let me state from the outset that I am a firm believer in all the new 
“modern” and “experimental” forms of education. The classroom, for 
example, should be a place where mature students engage in the leisurely 
exchange of ideas. The seating chart I am now passing around should 
encourage this. 

I also believe that by now you are all mature people, old enough to handle 
your academic responsibilities. Therefore, roll will be taken at each class and 
your final mark will be lowered by one letter grade for each class missed. 

So, just remember throughout the semester that you are here because you 
want to be. I realize this course is required for graduation, but you always 
could have taken the other section, which meets Thursday and Saturday at 
8:00 a.m. 

Now, are there any questions? 



Gravity Disproved 

Analysis of Snell’s law of refraction reveals an interesting aspect of the 
movement of light through mediums where the speed of light varies from one 
medium to the next. This aspect of light movement is that, given the path 
that the light took and its velocities over that path, one will discover that the 
light path is adjusted in such a manner that the light took the fastest path 
between the beginning and end of its travel. 

In the same sense one could show that a system, as a mass, can be 
considered as a point having the mass of the system, and being at the system’s 
center of mass. Furthermore, just as the light “knew” how to take the fastest 
path, the system “knows” how to minimize accelerations of its center of 
mass, and in doing so, the system creates effects which appear to be the result 
of forces in the system. These apparent forces, which are only effects, look as 
though they are real, and in fact have been named the forces of gravity. 

Let us examine the proof of this statement. 

First of all, throughout the discussion, we speak of gravity as a force 
achieving certain effects such as pulling. That this seems to contradict our 
hypothesis is evident, but the terminology is used only for clarity. Gravity can 
be looked upon as a force having certain effects only in the same manner as 
inertia can be looked upon as a force having certain effects. Due to the effects 
of inertia a body accelerates at a certain rate for a constant force. In like 
manner, when one speaks of gravity pulling, he is speaking of an effect which 
is similar to the result of a force. 

In a system consisting of one object there exists a property of that object 
which acts to resist accelerations on the center of mass (CM) of that object. 
The determining factor(s) on how resistive this property will be is the mass of 
the object and its (relative) velocity. 

Likewise, in a system consisting of two objects in motion, there exists a 
property of the system of these two objects which acts to resist accelerations 
on the CM of that system. The determining factors on how resistive this 
property will be is the nature of the motion and the inertia of the two (or 
more) masses. The apparent effect of the first instance of the inertia is that it 
requires a force to move a mass; the apparent effect of this second instance of 
inertia are the effects resulting from what is called the force of gravity. 


In other words the force of gravity is a manifestation of that property of 
matter which also results in matter having inertia. Gravity and inertia are the 
only properties which both increase with mass and resist acceleration. Let us 
first briefly consider the case of inertia. In a strictly theoretical sense there 
exists no real reason why a given force, so long as it was greater than zero, 
could not accelerate given mass to a given velocity in some other amount of 
time which experience shows us to be the case by Newton’s Law (F=MA). 

Further, for a time system outside of a moving object, the acceleration of 
the object will appear to decrease (with constant force) as that object’s speed 
reaches that of light. This constant force provided an apparently decreasing 
acceleration because the object became apparently more massive, and in 
becoming more massive, acquired an apparently larger inertia. This shows us 
that inertia can change for an object depending on what is happening to the 
object. We will show in like sense that gravity can change for a system, 
depending on what is happening to the system. 

To state it another way, inertia can exert an apparent force on a mass such 
that any other force on that mass becomes less able to produce the same 
effect it produced on the rest mass. Similarly, the effect of gravity is as 
follows: a system of two or more bodies existing such that some or all of the 
distances between the bodies is changing, will contain an apparent force 
(called gravity) which acts to prevent acceleration in the motion patterns of 
the bodies. That is gravity acts to prevent acceleration, just like inertia, only it 
is present in systems which have relative motion. 

There are five cases of motion between two bodies from the fixed 
reference point of view: 1) the motion of A is on a line going through the 
center of mass of B, B is stopped, and A is moving toward B; 2) same as 1, 
except the line of travel of A does not go through the CM of B; 3) they are 
not moving with respect to each other; 4) like 1, except A is moving away 
from B; 5) like 2, except A is moving away from B. 

From a relative motion point of view 1) becomes: the center of mass of 
the system approaches one body at constant speed; 2) becomes the CM of the 
system approaches one body at a decreasing rate, stops, and then moves away 
at an increasing rate. 3) becomes: the CM is unmoving with respect to each 
body. 4) becomes the CM of the system is moving away from one body at 
constant speed. And 5) becomes: the CM of the system is moving away from 
one body at an increasing rate. 

Now, recalling that inertia was defined as a force, or apparent force, which 
incompletely counter acts another force (acceleration), at an increasing rate as 
mass approaches the speed of light, we can say that gravity is a force, an 
apparent force, that completely counteracts an acceleration of mass (CM of 
system). In the case of gravity, the acceleration it opposes is the accelerating 
rate at which the CM is leaving or approaching one body. 


There are, of course, a few problems with this simple treatment, but they 
are easily cleared up. The first question might be how exactly something 
resists acceleration by becoming attractive. The answer is gravity prevents the 
apparent deceleration of the CM of the system of two objects approaching 
each other but not on a collision course by accelerating their rate of 
approach, this is accomplished by being attractive. In like manner, gravity acts 
to decelerate the CM of the system of two bodies moving away from each 
other by pulling on them so they move apart at a decreasing rate. 

The next question might be why gravity would pull two objects together in 
a straight line collision course. The answer is that in a straight line collision 
course the CM is unmoving, if the motion is due to effects solely within the 
system, and any aberrations in the path produce an acceleration of the CM 
which gravity acts to reduce by pulling. Since the universe is full of bodies, 
each affecting the other, there is no chance of an object moving at a rest state 
in a straight line toward another, so that gravity always pulls on it just enough 
to make its path apparently straight. 

The preceding argument can also be applied to the case of the CM of the 
system moving away from one of the objects. 

The last question might be in reference to the case of no relative motion, 
there being no need for gravity in this case. The answer is, if all the objects 
everywhere stopped moving completely, then all gravity would cease to exist. 


Dr. Patrick Gray, a Duke undergraduate and in his spare time a Harvard 
professor, divides his time among Durham, Cambridge, and the Friedrich 
Nietzsche Home for Weary Minds, Wilmington, Delaware. 


with apologies to Mr. Pope 

I wonder why I wade my way through school 
If only to be made a wiser fool; 

For when the days of busywork are done, 

The time reserv’d for Learning’s nearly run; 

The Muses’ Spring’s disrupted by the storms 
Of snowing rules, of countless guides and forms, 
And Wisdom’s path’s obscur’d ‘midst all the rest 
Can this be Nature, howsoever drest? 

The Scholar, fullest Knowledge to attain, 
More than a little Learning hopes to gain; 

For, as said Dr. Donne poetic’ly, 

“Who are a little wise, the best fools be.’’ 

’Tis thus the Scholar plans his yearly scheme, 
Not knowing that his hopes are but a dream. 
For when he plans according to his sense, 

He soon discovers hard requirements: 

Four courses here, two courses there, each field 
Of Study plowed, no matter what the yield; 
Discussion Groups, to make the Scholar whole, 
Phys. Ed., to train the Body as the Soul. 

In each, unnumber’d options are allow’d: 

In all, a maze to make old Minos proud. 
Whoever said, “Whatever is, is RIGHT” 

Was never fac’d with Registration’s fright. 


If, when this work is done, the Youth’s reliev'd, 

’Tis sure he’ll find too soon his sigh is heav’d: 

Oblig'd to trust Computer’s addled wits, 

He’s govern’d by the maxim, NOTHING FITS. 

Whereas his plan propos’d no special stunts, 

His courses now are schedul’d three at once; 

Religion math, and Latin French become - 
Not Bacon’s ghost could pass the twisted sum. 

The Youth mechanic madness set to stop, 

Must now confront Drop-Add, or is’t Add-Drop? 

Thus, arm’d with naught but wits (and precious few), 
The Scholar stands in Allen’s endless queue 
To battle with th’ Administration’s pawn, 

Who’s arm’d with paper, title, age, and yawn. 

Amaz’d, he sees his comrades singly fall, 

As, Gorgon-like, th’ Official stills them all. 

For though by strength of numbers theirs the odds, 

Th’ Official’s highly favor’d by the gods: 

The dour Desk his shield, the Chair his ease, 

And at his tongue his lance - Officialese. 

At last, the restless Scholar gains the field; 

His arguments are set, his nerves are steel’d; 

Th’ attack he makes, Achilles of the school; 

Scarce opes his mouth ’ere flatten’d by a rule. 

Th’ Official Scarlet Tape shoots out in swirls: 

The Scholar to the end of line it hurls. 

There, beaten like a Roman by the sack, 

He pauses, to remap the new attack, 

And someday stretch the Vandal on his rack. 

What Learning this? What moral lifts us high’r? 

Why, ’tis the art of PATIENCE, learn’d by fire. 



The Great American 
Short Story 

Twain Washburn sat in the stagnant jam and watched a large fly batter its 
compound skull against the tinted windshield of his Fiat. It was three o'clock 
in the afternoon, and already the southbound lane of the Massachussetts 
Turnpike was at a standstill. Most drivers who didn’t have air conditioning had 
turned their engines off several minutes ago, cursing the commuters who were 
keeping cool for polluting the air. Their complaints, however, stemmed from 
more than their environmental concerns: the temperature was a stifling 
ninety-eight degrees and the only wind was the occasional gust from 
northbound cars across the fenced meridian. The humidity was close to 
ninety-eight percent, and a sopping wet Mr. Washburn imagined he saw the 
paint on his hood melting like a paraffin candle. Before him, the cars 
stretched at least two and one-half miles, and in the heat they looked like 
Portugese Men-of-War viewed through a turbid thermoclime. Through his 
rear-view mirror the scene was much the same, as the wavering tentacles 
disappeared into a river of mercury. 

He took off his homburg and loosened his tie. It was going to be another 
in the chain of wasted hours. The faint smell of sulfur from far-off factories 
became oppressively pervasive. Fire and brimstone, he thought. Hell and 

“Father, I feel called to the priesthood.” 

“My son, are you sure of this with all your soul and heart? Do you know 
your mind in this?” 



“Christ, Fernanda, you know I love you, sleep with me. Sleep with me 
now. Tonight. Yes. Goddammit, yes, I’ll marry you ...” 


He spit. His spittle sizzled on the pavement. He checked his watch. He 
knew he was going to be late. The bailiff would be ready to announce “all 
rise" and the judge would be prepared to stride into the room, and 
Farnsworth would whisper, “Your honor, my client, the defendant, is not 
here yet, may we delay the proceedings several minutes?” and there would be 
more lost time. O lost. O time. O holy ghost. 


Cacophonous horn-honkings filled the space around him and still there was 
no movement. He had always been on time, never missed a meeting with Mr. 
Babbidge (10:00 a.m., alternate Tuesdays), nor with the boys from the 
petroleum division (2:00 p.m., every Wednesday), nor had he ever been late 
for bowling with the guys on Saturday night (FERNANDA, I HAVE 
COMMITTED) nor for church on Sunday FERNANDA, I HAVE 

“We really should go to church, dear,” she had said. “It will set a good 
example for the children.” 

“Yes, indeedy,” Twain asserted. “Mr. Babbidge is a Presbyterian, you 
know, fine religion, his children go to Sunday School - 


“C’mon, Mack! The line’s moving!” instantly pressed the accelerator to the 
floor and barely had time to brake. God, that took ten years off my life, he 
thought. But the line was moving again, picking up speed. An accident, he 

He was lost in thought. Mechanically, he kept up with the flow of traffic. 
He was careful not to ride too close to the car in front, but neither did he 
slip back in the line and annoy the driver behind him. Somehow, with his real 
consciousness divorced from the act (FERNANDA, I HAVE COMMITTED -), 
he maintained the perfect speed, so as to be in perfect accord with the 
universe's perfection which bathed him in its senseless wonder and perfect 
bliss. As if he were just another leg in the beautiful, unthinking harmony of a 
cosmic caterpillar’s long undulating motion, Twain Washburn thoughtlessly 
drove along in perfect step with the seemingly endless line of perfection. But 
he was lost in thought. 

A mystical steaminess filled the mysterious atmosphere. As he looked 
ahead, it was like looking down a transparent sea, it was not really visible, but 
it left the visible impression of wave after perfect wave, thoughtlessly flowing 
from some unknown beginning to some unknown end. It made him think. He 
thought of the Portugese men-of-war again, with their deadly tentacles. This 
made him think of water. And water reminded him of a day on the beach, 
twelve years ago. 

He was sopping wet with sweat then also, but it was only because he was 
on the beach. In the sun. Reading a magazine. 

This was his first really big business convention; he appreciated the fleeting 
sensation (FERNANDA, I HAVE COMMITTED -) of importance that the 
distinction of being a convention party member gave him. He had recently 
been given a key promotion in the company, with a personal letter of 
congratulations from Mr. Babbidge. To celebrate he had joined the Elks Club, 
and to top it off he was basking on the beach at the convention. 


As he was basking on the beach at the convention, with a 
self-congratulatory smile seeping from his sebaceous moon-face, something 
caught his eye. It was not a caterpillar. It was not a Portugese Man-of-War. 

It was a girl. 

In a bikini. 

She was beautiful in face and figure, and she walked with a kind of 
dynamic tension (FERNANDA, I HAVE COMMITTED -) that, for some 
strange, arcane reason, attracted him. She is no Presbyterian, he thought, lost 
in thought. He tried to imagine whether or not she was intelligent, but 
somehow any clues to her powers of mind were inextricably intermingled with 
the dynamic tension. She seemed to be an amazing blend of the physical, uh, 
coordination she exuded, and the mental facility he could clearly sense but 
didn’t seem to care much about. Washburn watched her walk across the 
beach, her perfect path of thoughtless perfection. Like a dew-drop gathering 
itself together for the sucidal journey from the faucet to oblivion, she gathered 
herself together and sprang for the sea in a graceful running-arching dive, 
flowing through the air for several seconds and then crashing into the water. 

She must be an angel, he thought. Angels, Churches. Religion. God. 
Sacraments. Altar boys. Acolytes. Priests. All that stuff, he thought. 


Washburn drew his hand across his eyes to shut out the glaring metallic sea, 
which suddenly seemed to be filled with thousands of Portugese Men-of-War 
and only one angelfish. He tried to submerge himself in thoughtless thought 
of forgetfulness, to sink down, down, out of reach of the sun’s insistent 
brightness. But his mind began to ring with children’s voices. 

DADDY, DADDY, WAKE UP, DADDY!! and his eyes focused on Myrtle’s 
little face, puckered and red, streaming with hot tears. DADDY! she pleaded, 
drumming her small tight fists against his small, tight chest. IS IT RIGHT 

“Myrtle, you’re seventeen years old!" he cried vainly. He looked up from 
his sobbing daughter to see Kevin’s dark somber, troubled eyes staring at him 

“One hell of a Presbyterian you turned out to be,” Kevin said evenly, and 
rattier unpleasantly. Washburn raised his eyes to the sky... 


I will join her in the water, get to know her in the waves, he thought. He 
stretched, and walked toward the water. But as he moved toward it, it moved 
away from him. The tide was going out. He could not catch up with it. It was 
taking her away. She was splashing around and laughing at him, beckoning, 
commanding him to laugh at himself too. He complied. But then he sighed, 
sank down onto the sand, and fell on his face, sobbing with self-pity. He 
wondered if God were getting back at him for deciding not to be a priest and 
for joining SDS in college. Perhaps God was laughing too, right now. He 
wondered if his life would have been different if he had majored in Art 
History instead of Political Science. Or gone to a commune instead of to 
Business School. He grew aware of the sun baking his back, and after a time 
the ache dulled to a pain, paranoia sank to fear. He looked up. Horror seized 
him. Nothing but sand anywhere, sand and the burning sun. 

No beach, no water, no girl, no perfection. And no Portugese Men-of-War. 

He began to run. After a time, he collapsed, lungs afire, eyes burning, 
laughing hysterically. “I’ll fix you, stupid old sun, I’ll fix you, goddammit!” 
he screamed. “I’m getting out. I’m getting out.” He began to dig in the sand, 
heaping it into two piles at a terrific rate. One larger mound, one smaller 
mound. “This is my car. I’m getting out." He sat down on the smaller 

God, it's damn hot, he thought, I could use a drink. He rubbed his 
forehead. Fine grit snowed onto his lap. Whuzzat? Sand? Couldn’t be. Oh 
well. FERNANDA, I HAVE - no, no good. He stared once more at the hazy 
lines of cars, wavering away in the distance, especially in the far distance, 
where the lines danced and wavered and shifted around, seeming to resolve 
into other images, other places... 

“Mr. Washburn....Mr. Washburn, wake up. Time for your six-ply polymer 
pill with the hint of mint.” It was a nurse. The walls were white. She had 
Fernanda’s face. 

“Where am I?” 

“Why, here at the State Hospital, of course. You’ve been here the last four 
years, ever since you committed yourself. Now drink this.” 

But he would not drink it. 




ot tlje Btati Ubing 


A trivial play for serious people. 

Dramatis personae. 

Walter, Stephen, Maury, Frances, Jake, Fred, Sam, Pamela, 
Sally, Biff, and Eddie. 


Scene One: The Gothic Reading Room, Undergraduate Library, 9:22 
p.m. on a Friday night in early May. The room is empty except 
for four students. Walter and Stephen sit across from each other 
at one end of the room. At the other end sit Maury and Frances. 
MAURY (moaning softly): Four-ohhh...four-ohh... 

FRANCES: You, Maury. Hush. 

WALTER: Do you hear that? 

STEPHEN: Look. It's that kid down there. 

WALTER (turning around): I know him. His name is Maury. He was 
in my Calculus class when I was a freshman. (He rises and walks 
toward Maury, who continues to moan. Stephan follows.) 
WALTER: Hi, Maury. Are you all right? 

MAURY (louder, writhing in his chair): Four-ohhhh....four-ohhhh! 
FRANCES: Hush, Maury! Oh, he's having an attack again. He always 
gets these at night in December and May. 

STEPHEN: How long has this been going on? 

FRANCES: Ever since his freshman year. Isn't it embarrassing? You, 
Maury. Hush! (Walter picks up Maury's textbooks, which 
include Zoology for Those Who Dare and Rea! University 

WALTER: Excuse me, but Maury isn't. . . he isn't. . . 

FRANCES: Yes. Maury is going to be an important doctor some day. 
But I don't really understand this attack; it usually comes when 
he has been averaging nine hours of study a day, but he's only 
been studying eight. (Maury ceases to moan and falls 
asleep.) There, there. He's all right now. 

STEPHEN: I'm sure. (He and Walter walk away.) 

WALTER: I don't feel much like studying anymore, Steve. (Stephen 
returns to his seat as Walter gathers his books). I'll see you later. 
(He leaves the room.) 


Scene Two: Walter's dormitory commons room within an 
independent house on West Campus. Walter enters the room 
where twelve or fifteen students are gathered around a television 
set, watching a basketball game. All are watching intently, 
unmoving. Among them are Jake, Fred, and Sam. Empty 
bookshelves are on both sides of the room. Beer cans and pieces 
of plastic litter the floor. 

WALTER: Hey, Jake. 

JAKE: (wheeling around in his sofa and glaring at Walter): Shut up, 
man. There's only two minutes left to go. 

WALTER: Who's playing? 

SAM: The Panamanian Sub-National team is playing the University 
of Puget Sound in the Inter-American May Day Holiday Festival 
Tournament. It's the quarter-finals! 

WALTER: Who's winning? 

MANY VOICES: Quiet down! Shut up! Let's hear the game, huh? 

JAKE: Have a beer and watch the game, Walt. (He tosses a can over 
his shoulder to the surprised Walter, who barely catches it. He 
places it on the floor.) 

WALTER: Look, later this evening's there's going to be a Bergman 
flick down in Bio-Sci. do any of you guys want to — 

JAKE: Walter, would you — (A loud air-horn blast from the 
television cuts him off. Cries and moans of "aw, hell" and 
"sheeit!" punctuate the air.) Goddammit, Walter, you made me 
miss the end. And Puget Sound lost. (He pounds the sofa.) 


JAKE: What do you mean, so? (Several in the room turn around to 
gaze at Walter.) 

FRED: Listen, Walt, when was the last time you watched a b-ball 
game on the tube with us? 

WALTER: Well, I can't rightly remember. . . 

SAM: It's been a long time, hasn't it Walter? 

WALTER (blushing and beginning to sweat): Yes, I suppose it has . . . 

FRED: Walter, just exactly what is the problem? (Cries of "yeah, 
yeah" and "what's wrong, Walt baby" are heard around the 

JAKE: We've put up with a lot. We've put up with your reading 
books not assigned for courses, your conspicuous 
unconsumption of beer, and your whole goddam attitude. The 
least you can do is watch b-ball once in awhile. 

WALTER: (sweating profusely): Well, guys, in all honesty, I dislike 
watching basketball games on television. I just don't enjoy it. 
(There is a long pregnant silence.) 

JAKE (evenly): Once a turkey, always a turkey, what I say. 

FRED: You hate to watch — 



WALTER (glancing nervously about the room): I don't hate it! I 
don't! I don't hate it! It's just that . . . well . . . did you ever 
have something you just didn't like too much? Did you? Did 

SAM: Well, uh, I gotta go study for a math test. . . (He edges toward 
the door.) See ya, Walt. See ya, guys. 

FRED: Yeah I gotta go too. (He hurries from the room.) See ya 

JAKE: Me too. (He leaves, and the rest of the students in the room 
get up one by one and saunter out the door, casting sidelong 
glances at Walter and muttering “so long," "see you," 
"goodbye." Walter is left alone. He rises, turns off the television 
set, and walks out of the room.) 

Scene Three: A girls's dormitory on East Campus. Walter enters and 
passes by Pamela who sits behind a large desk. He nods, smiling, 
as he passes, and walks toward nearby stairs. 

PAMELA (jumping to her feet, loud and officious): Just where do 
you think you're going? 

WALTER (puzzled): Upstairs. 

PAMELA: And just what do you think you're going to do, upstairs? 

WALTER: I'm going to talk to a friend, and ask her if she wants to 
see a movie with me, since you asked. 

PAMELA: Oh no you're not! Not yet. You don't have an escort! 

WALTER: Oh, Jesus. 

PAMELA: You know the rules established by the RLC, CCC, CIA, 
and FBI! Get over here until I can find a female escort for you. 
Which may be hard, since most of the girls aren't here. It's 
Friday night, you know. (Pamela checks the common room.) 
There's no one here. You'll have to call her on the P.A. system. 
Name, please? 

WALTER: Look, I just wnat to ask her — 

PAMELA: Name, please? 

WALTER: Walter Ch- 

PAMELA: First names only, thank you. Now, who would you like to 

WALTER: Sally. 

PAMELA: Sally who? I have to know her last name to call her. There 
may be two Sallys here. 

WALTER: Jesus Christ! Sally Beagle. 

PAMELA (turning to the grey box on the desk and flicking switches, 
speaking in a sweet sing-song): Sally Beagle, caller. (A pause.) 
Sally Beagle, caller. (Another pause. More switches are flicked. 
All over all over. Sally Beagle, caller. (A long silence.) I'm sorry, 
she doesn't seem to be in. May I take a message? (Walter stares 
at her in disbelief. Then, slowly, a smile creeps across his face.) 


WALTER: What time to you get off working the phones? 

PAMELA: I beg your pardon? 

WALTER: What time do you quit work? I thought you might want 
to go see a Bergman flick with me at Bio-Sci. 

PAMELA: You're asking me now, for a date tonight? 

WALTER: It's not a date. I just thought you might want to see a 

PAMELA: But I don't even know you! 

WALTER: That's all right. We can get to know each other. 

PAMELA (regarding him with suspicion and fear, her voice 
cracking): Listen, fella, my FAC warned us about deviates like 
you running around in girl's dorms at night. If you don't get out 
and leave me alone, I can pick up this phone and my house 
mother, Judy Board, will be here in a hurry. Now, I don't want 
to have to do that. (Walter begins to chuckle as he turns and 
walks toward the door.) And anyway (exasperated) I'm not even 
free until the weekend of October 20, and even then I doubt if 
I'd go out with you! (Sound of a door closing is heard.) 

Scene Four: The main quad. Walter is walking in front of a fraternity 
section, toward his dorm. A party is occurring in the section. 
Loud music and loud voices issue forth: shouts and screams 
occasionally punctuate the steady drone. Several students, Sally 
and Biff among them, are standing in front of the house, talking, 
laughing, and sipping beer. 

SALLY: Oh Biff, there's Walter! I know him! (Calling.) Hi, Walter! 

WALTER: (walking toward her): Hi,Sally. I just went over to see 
you but you weren't in. 

SALLY: Of course not Walter, you should know better than that. 
Biff, I'd like you to meet my friend Walter. 

BIFF (grabbing Walter's hand and pumping): How are ya, buddy, 
great to meet ya. Any buddy of Sally's is a buddy of mine. Here, 
wait right here. I'll get you a brew. 

WALTER: Oh no, that's o.k., I - 

BIFF: Eddie! Eddie, come here and bring a brew. I want you to meet 
a buddy of mine. (Eddie, a corpulent, short, smiling student 
approaches with a can of beer.) Eddie, this is my buddy, Walter. 
Walter, Eddie. 

EDDIE (shaking Walter's hand): Plastics, Walter, plastics. 

WALTER: It's nice to meet you, too. 

EDDIE: Have a beer. (He thrusts the can into Walter's hand.) 

WALTER: Thank you. (To Sally) Sally, I wonder if I could talk to 
you for a minute . . . 

SALLY: Is it o.k.. Biff? Can I? 


BIFF: Sure, Sally, go ahead, Walter's my buddy. I'll wait for you in 
the chapter room. Don't be long. (To Walter, again extending his 
hand.) Walt, buddy, it was a pleasure meeting you. If you ever 
think about going the Greek way, keep us in mind, won't you? 
Atta boy. So long. (He strides toward the house.) 

SALLY: Walter, you always seem to visit at the most unusual times. 
Really, Friday night! 

WALTER: I just came on the spur of the moment to see if you 
wanted to go to a movie, that's all. 

SALLY: On the spur of the . . . but if you wanted to go to a movie 
with me tonight, why didn't you call me last March? 

WALTER: I didn't want to go to a movie with you last March. I 
want to go now. It's supposed to be a pretty good film, do you 
want to go? There's another showing in a few minutes. 

SALLY: Really, Walter, what about Biff? 

WALTER: That buffoon? That blackguard? I hope you're kidding. 

SALLY (after a pause): Put your hand against my throat. ( Walter 
does so.) Now say his name. 

WALTER: Biff. (Sally's throat pulses under his hand.) 

SALLY: Say it again. Say it again. 

WALTER: Biff. (He takes his hand away.) I guess Biff called you last 

SALLY: Well no, I didn't exactly come to the party with Biff, in fact 
I just met him, but after all, he's here and all, and I told him I'd 
meet him in the chapter room. 

WALTER: But you don't like him, do you Sally? That blackguard? 

SALLY (scrutinizing him): You know, Walter, I don't think you get 
enough fun out of life. You don't like beer, and you don't like 
watching basketball games on T.V. and stuff. Why don't you just 
enjoy yourself and have a good time for a change? There are lots 
of nice people at the party . . . Well, I've got to run. See ya! 
(Sally trots back to the house. Walter stares down at his feet for 
several minutes. Then he looks at the can of beer in his hand, 
pops the pop-top, takes a long swig, and shuffles toward the 
fraternity house.) 

Scene Five: The Gothic Reading Room, Undergraduate Library, 
11:22 p.m. Stephen is seated in a plush chair, reading Le Rouge 
et le Noir. At the other end of the room Maury and Frances are 
studying silently. 

Walter suddenly bursts through the door on the left side, 
closest to Stephen. He topples to the floor and gets up. 


WALTER: Stephen! 

STEPHEN: (leaping out of his chair): Jesus bless us! 

WALTER: Fie upon this quiet life! 

MAURY (moaning faintly: four-ohhh...four-ohhh... 

FRANCES: You, Maury. Hush. Hush! 

WALTER: Prithee, man, what tome dost thou read? 

STEPHEN: Walter, what's wrong? 

WALTER: Is that book assigned for a course? 

STEPHEN: Why, no, you know that. I'm almost finished. I've only 
got a few — 

WALTER: Unassigned? Then fie upon it, I say! (He lurches toward 
Stephen, grabs the book from his hand and heaves it across the 

MAURY (moaning louder): Four-ohhh! four-ohhh! 

STEPHEN (grabbinb Walter: Walter, you're drunk. Calm down, take 
it easy, have a seat, will you 

WALTER: Take thy hands off my body, thou rogue ad peasant 
slave! Thou superserviceable villain! Unassigned, indeed! (He 
slumps into a lounge chair and begins to mumble, almost 
inaudibly.) To watch, or not to watch. . . to drink, or not to 
drink . . . 

MAURY: Four-ohhhh! four-ohhhhhh! 

WALTER: . . . the reducto absurdum of the Duke experience . . . 

MAURY (screaming): Four-ohhhh! four-ohhhhh! four-ohhhhh! 

WALTER: .. . two six-pound flatirons . . 

FRANCES: (shouting hysterically) Hush! You, Maury! Hush! 

WALTER: .. . what a sinful waste . . . 

FRANCES: (shouting at Walter): Look what you've done! Listen to 
him! (Maury continues to wail.) Don't you know any better 
than to come in by the left door? People who come in here on 
Friday nights after 11:00 usually come in the right door! He's 
not used to what you did! Please, get out so he'll quiet down. 
Get out. Get out! 

WALTER (rising slowly to his feet, mumbling): Budweiser's good 
beer . . . have to try it again sometime ... (He stumbles out the 
right door as Stephan watches.) 

FRANCES: There, there. He's gone. Hush now. Hush. 

MAURY (whimpering): Four-ohhhhhh. . . .four-ohhhh. . . . (His 
moaning becomes progressively softer until it finally ceases. 
Stephen gathers his books and leaves the room. Maury and 
Frances return to their studies in silence.) 



€our ©tars before 
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in iBoctl) Carolina 

Having been driven indoors by one of those violent late-afternoon 
thunderstorms so common in the region of the Piedmont, I decided to pass 
the time in searching out in the stacks of Perkins a long-needed volume. The 
sky had darkened and rain pattered incessantly against the windows as I made 
my way upstairs toward the dim, musty, waiting shelves. Bare crooked trees 
cast ghastly shadows down stiflingly narrow aisles. An occasional 
terror-stricken pair of eyeglasses scampered past, followed closely by a gaunt 
white face and frail body. I glanced at the call number; farther back, farther 
still, until there were no more carrels, no freshmen, no grad students! Again I 
looked, comparing the number with the barely-visible card posted at the end 
of one of the aisles. Down a half-flight of stairs and through a door. 

What a horrid aspect now greeted my eyes! The room in which I stood was 
deserted. Lightning flashed through the high, narrow, arched windows as, call 
slip in hand, I shuffled through the dust toward the other end of the great 
hall. The chamber was shrouded in cobwebbed shadows, flash! it was suddenly 
brilliantly aflame, then, just as suddenly, plunged again into semi-darkness. 
The only evidence that anyone had ever been there was a recently-shelved 300 
among the 600’s. Proceeding a little further, my glance fell upon a small door 
in the base of the opposite wall that had hitherto escaped my notice. 

I advanced and, with each step, small creatures were disturbed. Their 
scurrying seemed a vague and hideous whisper, that being the only sound 
discernible save the periodic concussions that seemed to shake the very arches, 
vaults, and groins of the building itself. 


Upon reaching the door I hesitated, and unheard-of dreads nearly overcame 
my strong curiosity. Desperately, I recalled my errand, and I shuddered upon 
discovering the call slip I had so frequently consulted was gone from my 
hand! Summoning courage and drawing from who-knows-what recesses of my 
troubled mind some heretofore-unused reserve, I seized the handle of the door 
(for indeed it had not a knob, but a vertical piece of curved metal, secured at 
either end to a metal plate; this entire assembly was fastened to the door by 
what (upon closer examination) seemed to be nothing more than common 
wood wood screws) and pulled. With a melancholy groan and a swirl of dust, 
it opened and I entered. 

Much to my surprise, I found myself standing opposite what seemed to be 
several identical booths or enclosures of tile and wood. Approaching the 
nearest of these, I found that the wooden door swung on metal hinges. 
Curious, thought I, and I shoved open the door. I stepped in. Imagine my 
shock upon finding, attached to the wall, an appliance which, in its time, 
must have been a masterwork of ceramic craftsmanship, exquisitely wrought 
for catering to les besoins naturels in the most tasteful manner! 

Almost swooning with delight, I was about to continue my investigation of 
this marvellous chamber when I glanced downward. There, floating as it were 
on that endless river which guides us from cherished childhood days to the 
golden autumnal time; there, I say, on that water, I noticed a 
brownish-colored bottle. 

Stooping, I removed this new and wonderful object from its eternal resting 
place. Bits of paper clung to its exterior, seemingly devoid of import; but 
upon closer scrutiny I was able to decipher an 'M' here, an ‘L’, and a pair of 
‘E’s. Also, floating near the bottle I found a circular piece of metal (an old 
coin, perhaps) bearing a sort of mystical hand, index finger extended, with the 
image of a bit of string affixed to that digit. Alas! the writing there, too, had 
been obligerated. But lo! my heart lept with excitement when I peered into 
the interior of this awful flask. Hands atremble, I withdrew from its glassy 
womb several sheaves of green paper, lined in still darker green, and 
perforated along one of the long edges. There was set down, in a cramped 
hand, faded by long exposure to water and this foul air, writing of a fantastic 
and arabesque nature. O! what a MS had been delivered into my hands by this 
most venerable of receptacles! Without further ado, I seated myself and (the 
storm by now having abated and light being somewhat more plentiful than 
before) began reading on the only page not numbered in the upper right-hand 
corner. All the other sheets bore numbers two or greater: this unnumbered 
page was, I surmised, the correct starting-point. 

I shall now, without undue explication, set forth this most amazing and 
uplifting of tracts for your (you, kind reader!) perusal so you can marvel, as I 
often do, at its grotesque complexities and its portentous symbolism: 

“I didn’t know they’d changed the rules. I came in with my overdue book, 
not seeing that sign: ALL FINES PAYABLE IN CASH AT TIME OF 
RETURN ONLY! I had no money, so I turned around and rushed toward the 
exit. The man at the desk, inquisitor-like, glanced up from his 
crossword-puzzle in time to accost me and examine the slip in the back of the 


‘“You can't leave with an overdue book!’ 

‘“But I'm broke,’ I replied, appealing to his reason. 

“‘Rules are rules, made to be followed.’ 

“Beginning to panic, I tried retreating, concealing the book, then advancing 
again empty-handed. No dice. In vain, I searched about for someone upon 
whom to put the arm for a loan. But closing time was hard upon me, and the 
last students rushed past, unheeding. I tried to follow them, but the door was 
locked. My only means of egress blocked, I screamed in terror; I was seized 
by a number of large men clad in some weird sort of uniform (white 
tie-incomprehensibly immaculate-on a red shirt, and blue trousers) and 
dragged struggling into the elevator. Down we plummeted, drawn past the SB 
light by some terrible force. I swooned. 

“Upon awakening, I found myself in a pastel-walled cubicle. The wall 
before me was a dirty green; that to my right, soiled yellow; to my left, dingy 
pink; the wall behind me was painted (if indeed this was mere paint which 
had decorated these walls) an off-white. I retched, and swooned once more. 

“Again I awoke and found that my dinner had arrived: crate upon crate of 
non-union lettuce. I gasped. Not deeming this any minor matter, I bravely 
desisted from partaking of the proffered feast, and I soon fainted from 

Not satisfied with assuaging my physical desires, the mysterious powers 
that sent me here also catered to my intellectual needs. In my next waking 
period, I found myself among great stacks of books. Someone had-placed in 
my hand, in apparent jest, a paper strip from which a myopic owl admonished 
me to READ. Thus enjoined, I reached for the nearest tome; I opened it: The 
Collected Writing of Marc Pinsky, Vol. I. No! this will not do! I picked up 
another, Cloud Over the Counties: my stomach turned over. What a myriad of 
fantastic titles swam before my eyes: Duke’s Supporters, by James Carde (a 
very costly work indeed!); The Free Water Guide to Creative Film Projection; 
The Chronicle Personual for Impartial News Editing; a Duke Atlas containing 
the only extant map of the fabled underground tunnel system; several titles 
allegedly penned by the university’s original mascot, under the general title 
The Devil in Durham, edited by the Graduate English Club, and available for 
room use only; the Proceedings of the Duke University Traffic Commission, 
bound in what felt suspiciously like Colorado Overshoe and divided into 
several lettered sections (each color-coded for easy reference, but each section 
likewise containing many blank pages); A Stage Manager’s Nightmare, or The 
Glories of the Gothic Theatre, containing extremely small pages; The Lyre and 
the Gridiron, handsomely bound in hide of swine with the device of a harp 
emblasoned on the cover, tied with a shoestring; a Major Attractions Plan 
Book, dedicated inexplicably to Roman Hruska; Love Among the Quad Dogs, 
by Rocco Conti; Into the Valley of Hope, a history of pioneer days in 
Durham related by a number of venerable and distinguished men; 1001 Uses 
for Empty Beer Cans, or Supply and Demand, co-authored by I. Fc and E. 
Cos; None Dare Ball, it Freezing, a theory in social regulation published by 


the Office of Housing Management Press; hidden among the piles, nay, heaps, 
of books (a mere thousandth of whose titles I can relate, owing to space 
limitations), was sequestered a slender little pamphlet, auspiciously entitled 
The Compleat History of the Fine Arts at Duke University, but alas, upon 
opening it to the first page, I found that its unlucky author could proceed no 
further due to lack of funds. 

“In the corner of the room there loomed a peculiar bulk, which I found to 
be a record player. It was decorated with elaborate carvings of waterfalls, 
clowns, and what looked like beautiful (but unfinished) images of careering 
cagers. On the turntable sat the smallest (and most blemished) record I had 
seen in over thirty years, no more than 3 or 4 inches in radius, entitled Great 
Moments in Duke Basketball, 1969-1973. I tried to play it but the voices 
groaned. “Obviously,” I said to myself, “the speed is too slow.” I advanced 
the knob from 33-1/3 to 45. Still the voices rumbled in unspeakably low 
tones. Curiosity piqued, I turned the knob to 78, only to be greated by a 
mixed chorus invoking the excrement of male cattle and asserting loudly that 
some immortal had the vulgar habit of inhaling sharply with lips pursed and 
mouth full. I dashed the record against the wall ineffectually; it would not 
break! at least not right away. 

“Upon regaining consciousness after what may have been a minute or an 
age, the room was empty, save for a bedsheet suspended in front of the far 
wall. I was strapped tightly into a creaky, straight-backed wooden chair (O, 
insidiousness! the very same chair in which I sat to fulfill my small-group 
learning experience!), my head was fixed in viewing position. As my sight 
cleared, I could see figures moving magically on the sheet. I cried out, and the 
lights were doused abruptly. I then saw that the figures were men, football 
players. Yes, in my fevered brain I vaguely recollected such a sight: one team 
in blue, the other in red. Each of those wearing red bore a small ‘s’ on his 
headgear. I watched (or rather, I was forced to watch), aghast, as each team 
fumbled in turn, apparently near the Red team’s goal. I was amused, amazed, 
and finally nauseated by the spectacle. To my unutterable horror, each time 
the game drew near the final gun, the film rewound itself and began anew. My 
soul was trapped in the second half! My mind reeled uncontrollably and I 
called for the contest to end. I shrieked, I stamped my feet, but still the 
football bounced. I wanted to fall on that ball, envelope it forever and keep 
the officials from ever putting it back in play. ‘No!’ I sobbed helplessly, as the 
projectionist finally got the soundtrack working: ‘Fumble play, fumb [here 
the narrative breaks off] 

Nowhere has my story been credited, least of all within the gothic halls 
from which I now retire in confusion. 



Wonder What an All-Star Half Back Thinks About : B y briggs 

O 1927. P. LorUlard Co.. E«t. 1760 

.. not a cough in a carload 



In a recent test, hun- 
j / dreds of men and 
d women all across the 

country ... of all ages and 
occupations . . . were closely 
observed as they smoked 
Camels—and only Camels — 
for 30 consecutive days. And 
they smoked on the aver¬ 
age of one to two packages 
of Camels a day. But only 

Every week through¬ 
out this dramatic 30- 
day test, their throats were 
carefully examined by noted 
specialists — a total of 
2470 exacting exami¬ 
nations. And among all these 
smokers, these famous throat 
specialists found not one 
single case of throat irrita¬ 
tion due to smoking Camels! 

0-L/ Yes, Camels are that 
s-y)\ mild! But prove it 
^ yourself. In your "T- 
Zone"—T for Taste and T 
for Throat. Smoke Camels 
for 30days, with our money- 
back guarantee. (Seebelow'.) 
tell you about the full, rich 
flavor of Camel's choice to¬ 
baccos. Let YOUR OWN 
THROAT tell you the won¬ 
derful story of Camel's cool, 
cool mildness. Yes, prove 
for yourself that there’s 

Mj TTiroat Irritation due to smofan. 

3 '7%%'e ff-jfatssd /Mite ife 

M Came/30-Zty 7esf-/s? tfurTZove 

ty/VW V -8Bac6 <8ua*atUee: Smok , e Camel, for 30 comera- 
(7 five days. Smoke only Camels. 

If, at any time during these 30 days, you are not convinced that Camels 
are the mildest cigarette you have ever smoked, return the package 
with the unused Camels and we will refund your full purchase price, 
plus postage. This offer is good for 90 days from this date. 

(Signed) R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Winston-Salem, N. C. 

According to a 
Nationwide survey: 


than any other cigarette 

Doctors smoke for pleasure, 
too! And when three lead¬ 
ing independent research or¬ 
ganizations asked 113.597 
doctors what cigarette they 
smoked, the brand named 
most was Camel! 

Movie of a Man Formulating His New Year’s Resolutions : : By briggs 

afternoons at the office 
next summer....i've 



that ounch of croddsrs 

S'65 SIONS " 

but i don't see why she 


new year's resolution 

little pleasure out of 


"And if you stick to old 

TELL the 'WORLD.'’ 

6 1927. P. Lorillard Co., hat. 1760 

not a cough in a carload 




Cable of Contents: 


Meeting, 3. 

To a Young Poet, 3. 

FRED CHAPPELL, Death of W. H. Auden, 5. 
STEVEN KARVER, Untitled, 8. 

JOHN KAUGER Jason, 27. 
REYNOLDS PRICE, Michael Egerton, 25. 
CHAMBLEE OWEN, Leave Taking, 6. 
ALEX RAYBIN, Titan’s Lament, 31. 
WILLIAM STYRON, 77ie Ducks, 9. 
ANNE TYLER, The Bridge, 1 5. 

J. K. WHITE, On such mist-laden evenings, 6. 
MIKE WOLFE, Satan Is a Gentleman, 4. 
“The Archive’s Greatest Hits” 


Thou carriest them away as with a flood; 
they are as a sleep. 

Image of my head and shoulders, 

My daughter in my arms, seen 
In a window of my car against 
A reflected sky as pale as ice, 

Her delicately-colored face 
A mirror of every taste and love— 

And we but shadows on that blue; 

The sheet of water blue among 
The rock outside my office window, 

That clear consciousness of trees and sky 
So vulnerable a leaf may break it, 

Or only the wind; I ponder these mirrors. 
Beyond the pavement of the parking lot 
This world, this earthy valley of 
Wet-shiney transparency of air 
Around the black-line intricacy 
Of trees and autumn mosaic leaves, 

Seems etched upon the glass of air; 

But refl ected upon our minds, that wait, 

With all their colored trees, to be 
Broken like iridescent bubbles; 

For the wind passes and we are gone 

And the place we stood shall know us no more. 

Unless the fracture in that dark wind 

Be only ripplings, that shall subside 

Into our figures held in another 

Glass, against another sky. 


APRIL 1964 


When wind twisted the tree- 
tops I was murderously lonely. 

A flat man of shadow slid crabbed 

before, broke on concrete slabbed 

jagged up by roots, where wind-threshed thick 

bushwicker swayed my blood, though he, unmoi 

slid on. I felt as if I had never loved. 






A thousand alleyways of painted brick 
snaked spectral, with after-images 
from tabloid pages: coarse newsprint bodies 
that bled no wet. 

Then footsteps—a twig broke— 
an old man came from the shadowy oak. 

I hesitated half a step, dry 

in the mouth, uncertain whether 

I’d strike him with my fist 

to taste the fluid of his hurt or anger— 

he crossed a yellow window-square, 

I saw his Adam’s apple move, his hair 

pushed up like brush or grass by 

wind, the smell of his shaving close as a kiss. 

I bent over the porcelain basin from his waist, 
the warm water softening my hands with his. 


To A Young Poet 

Now that bare dry branches mark the air 

And colored leaves have flown to whatever land 

They live their winters, in, alone, I walk 

The avenues of peeling houses with leaded windows 

Prismatic of dining lights, and opening 

In blocks to sky brushed by the chimney smoke. 

And I single out someone young—you— 

Who walks beside me in imagination, 

To whom I say, ‘The trees stretch toward 
The evening star fine as you’d guess the souls 
Of a child’s hands are, and they are what have feathered 
The mist so gently across the lonely roofs.’ 

And you, in imagination, lift your hand 
And brush your fingertips across the light. 





M 3 (gentleman 

Satan walked into Eden, 

Cheap red tie and diamond stickpin, 

Wings tucked under his coat 
And tail coiled into a pocket, 

Quick nervous walk in shined black shoes. 

His claws, when he lights a Marlboro 
With a Japanese Zippo 
Are clipped and manicured, 

And his horns are concealed by pomaded black hair. 

“A nothing scene,” he mutters; 

All his teeth are capped. 

He snaps away his cigarette 

And stamps out the volcano it produces on the grass. 

“Now where’s this chick 
I’m supposed to meet?” 

He curls his lip at the sunshine 

And twists his mustache at the Garden. 

“What the Hell 

Do you do around here at night?” 

On a park bench he spies a big blonde. 

“Must be the one. Looks all right.” 

He walks toward her, moving cool and easy, 

Lighting another Marlboro. 

“Hello, girlie. Like to know something good?” 

He says—and bows. 



Death of WH. Auden 

He fumbles in his mind for the correct passport, 

And steps idly back, looking 

Precisely upon his watch. He jingles 

His business suit. Is there anything 

He h as forgotten? He regrets only landscapes 

That now he’ll never greet friendly again. 

He would like a drink. He’d like to have brought 
A novel. The boredom of another border 
Looms huger than dying. His face 
Is grave and waiting. He pats all his pockets, 

And notices his doing it 

And begins to muse and stands bemused 

In his mind while his body drifts forward to departure. 

In the wind the ashen crowd has gathered 
To watch his leaving, but no one waves, 

Or wants to wave. 



On such mist-laden evenings 
as these 

the fog-lost lake birds 
swoop briefly 

out of heaven’s gray opacity 

finding no lake 
finding only the dim outlines 
of a world 

claustral and gray 
ascend again 

into the fading pale insistence 
of the sun. 


Beyond the poxied Sunday fields 
On wings that spread or sing or bring 
I watch toward hills as the bandit bangle 
Passes unhunted away. 

Show me an ocean with no horizon 

And the beaten blue spreading forever; 

fori have sung your canticle of houses, automobiles 

and hare-lipped children 

Sitting long in the deep rank silence 

That lives under the branches of those live oaks, 

And the waters that had been some arterial surge 
over dusty legs, 


Lie still again., 

The re was no matter 

That in my arboreal sinewed youth the sculptured havens 

Past tears and parents care. 

For on longer afternoons I waited in quiet, 

Torn and rough; 

But in that summer of leaving, 

No love was love enough. 




You are fastened to me 

and I feel 

that I am giving birth; 

you rise 

above me, rosy-winged 

and ringed 

with circles of the sun. 

My eyes 

cannot quite watch this thing 
that I have raised, 

that over me 

lifts one boned and feathered wing 
to eclipse the sky. 

I feel 

that I am giving birth, 

and lying 

on this wide and fertile earth 
turn half away. 

Startled breath 

disturbs the heated day, 

as from my thighs 
the great bird opens suddenly 

and flies. 



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Frank Thornton, bundled thickly in a light brown hunting jacket, squatted 
with his gun in hand and gazed upward into the grey light of early morning. At 
his side in the duckblind his dog lay half-covered by the decoy bag, shivering in 
his sleep. As Thornton gazed out over the water, he could see the first pale light 
of the dawn slanting up over the wide reach where the river met the bay. A few 
feet from the blind, the decoys bobbed softly in the lapping waves which crept 
in little eddies against the shore. 

Thornton cautiously peered through the dried reeds out across the river. As 
he did, the cold breeze whistling inshore blew flush against his red and puffy 
face. With a slow motion he wiped away the tears which came to his eyes at each 
chilly gust of wind. He mumbled silently under his breath, grunting at the cold 
and the discomfort, and again carefully parted the reeds. The middle of the river, 
a mile away, was empty and misty. A low-lying blanket of haze was gently rising 
from the channel, revealing the shadows of the fish stakes and, farther out, the 
tiny black specks which were flocks of widgeon and mallard. 

“Why don’t they rise?” he thought. “Were they going to sit out there and 
feed until the sun came up?” 

The river was silent. As he crouched there, Thornton could hear only the 
sound of the crows squawking in the cornfield behind him, and occasionally the 
far-off report of a shotgun in the farmland to the north. 

Thornton had been there shivering for nearly forty-five minutes, huddled in 
the wretched cold. Whatever prompted him to come here every winter was 
beyond reason. It was always this constant waiting in the chilly mornings, 
squatting in the damp sand, forever shivering. And now, during the past few 
years, these solitary hunting trips had ceased to be a pastime, and were more and 
more an habitual contest with the weather and his own patience. The ducks were 
getting more scarce, that was true. And the Fisheries Commission wouldn’t allow 
river blinds, so you had to sit in the confounded sand on shore and shiver and 
curse and wait for the ducks to fly over the beach—which was seldom. Next 
winter he’d rent a blind on the Chesapeake, perhaps buy a small boat with an 
outboard. He smiled and ran a gloved hand over his chapped lips as he envisioned 
a sturdy blind on the Bay, with perhaps a lodge on shore (but that would cost 
money), and great flights of mallard flying over the blind, wings down, and 
plummeting with a splash into the water as he released two well-aimed barrels. 
He clenched his gun and strained his eye upward into the faintly silvered sky. 


Then Thornton relaxed and sat back down onto the sand, one hand resting 
lightly on the head ot the dog that shivered and snuffled painfully as he slept. 
Thornton’s eyes wandered back to the little rise of ground above the beach 
where his old car was parked beneath a scrubby tree. It was strange, he thought, 
how he kept coming back to this same place year after year. Of course, that new 
young doctor—whom he did not trust too much, anyway—had told him that his 
heart would not take this sort of weather any more. A man of Thornton’s age, 
he had said, was not expected to sit in the sand like this, to wade in leaky boots 
in the icy water, and to withstand the excitement, mild as it might be, of 
hunting. Especially with Thornton’s blood pressure being the erratic torrent that 
it was. 

“Well,” Thornton mused, “you’re only young once.” But young? No, he 
couldn’t say that. A man’s not young when he’s a more-than-flabby specimen of 
fifty-five. But a person must be philosophical about such things. Thornton, 
although he was a man of practicality, and a good fellow to boot, was given to 
musings, strange thoughts which came to him at odd moments, moments such as 
this, even in this cold morning air. They came usually when he was alone, away 
from the noise of the city, in the quietness along the river shore. He had never 
told anyone his thoughts, not even Marie; they would sound rather silly if he 
spoke them aloud. But though he was perturbed and even exalted by these 
thoughts, he suspected that the law of chance should have it that others thought 
in the same manner. Everyone has a philosophy, he reflected. What did this 
Omar say? “Eat, drink, and be merry. . . .” That was a good philosophy, he had 
concluded, even though it wasn’t accepted by the Methodists. He chuckled to 
himself as he thought of Marie’s reaction if he should reveal his contemplations. 
She’d probably pack up and leave, what with her church circles and prayers 
every night. But it was funny, all right. Time and space, for instance. Try and 
define time. You could measure it; it was there. But what was it? Oh, well. . . . 
The world was too full of troubles, what with the strikes and Harry Truman and 
the poor starving Poles, to worry about such generalities. 

A sharp, piping sound, a rippling whistle came through the clear air above the 
river. Thornton pushed himself up to a half-standing position and thrust aside a 
bunch of reeds. Just outside of gunshot range, a lone pintail soared downward 
and lit on the grey water. He bobbed there for a moment, ducking his head for 
food. Thornton watched tensely, and released the safety catch on the gun. 

“Come in, come in,” he muttered to himself. “Come on in.” 

The pintail turned his black crowned head toward the shore. He seemed to be 
gazing at the decoys. Then, as if he suspected at that moment something queer 
about the nodding cork ducks near the beach, he wheeled about quickly in the 
water and took off with a scudding splash down the river. Thornton watched the 
pintail until it disappeared, a black dot on the horizon. 

Thornton cursed quietly, and jammed the safety back in irritation. 

“Blasted pintail,” he thought. “Blasted Fisheries Commission.” If they would 
just let a person build a blind a hundred yards out, it would be easy. But the 
ducks wouldn’t fly over the shore, unless there was a strong onshore breeze. The 
blasted ducks were always out of range. 


He sat down again in the sand. The dog woke up and stared at Thornton with 
sleepy eyes. 

“That’s all right, old boy,” he murmured. “You just wait. We’ll get 'em. 
You’ll see.” 

Thornton crossly broke open the breech end of the gun and checked his 
shells. Then he snapped the stock and barrel together with a sharp crack. By 
God, he’d get some ducks today if it was the last thing he did. He’d walk into the 
house with the ducks held high, tied together by their feet, and the clotted 
blood on their wings. What would Marie say then? Yes, what would she say? 
Well, as usual she would not say much ot anything—merely walk up to him in 
that weary manner and kiss him on the cheek and say, “How nice,” in her tired, 
listless voice. It seemed of late that she was always tired, not saying much of 
anything, simply looking at him with her sleepy eyes, smiling now and then, not 
saying much at all. What got into a woman at that age? What made them act like 
that? By God, he bet that Helen Chappell .... Well now, what made him think 
of Helen Chappell? But that wasn’t too strange. He had thought of her 
often—not incessantly, ot course, but often enough—since he and Marie had been 

But she was a peach, though, wasn’t she? He remembered her sitting at the 
table in Cole’s that night. How long ago? Twenty-eight years? No, twenty-nine, 
because it was in that year that . . . Oh, well: twenty-eight. It didn’t matter. But 
he remembered the way she looked down at the table, her blonde hair falling at 
the sides of her face, and the way she ran her finger slowly down the crack in the 
slate-top of the table as she listened to him talk. And then she looked up and he 
thought she was going to answer him. 

But all she said was: “We’d better go, Frank.” 

So they left that evening, and that was the way it was. And a week later, 
Thornton learned that she had become engaged to Harry Snider. But that was 
the way it was. A man had to be philosophical about such things, even in those 

So what did he do then? Well, he met Marie and courted her like the young 
fellows did in those days—very quietly and soberly, and at the same time full of 
small laughter. Then they got married. She wasn’t too much to look at, but she 
had what he supposed was a “sweet” face, and a sort of gentle, quiet laugh 
which she still had, even to this day. By God, though, he didn’t know what 
happened to Helen. That night she just walked away and never came back. He 
was never given a chance to ask why or how, and he could only guess that he had 
said something which offended or hurt her. It took him a while to get over it, 
even after he was married. There were those first hot, passionate nights when he 
kept saying: “Oh, Marie honey, Marie honey,” and when he really was trying to 
think of Helen Chappell, of Helen lying there in his arms. But after a while he 
forgot about her, except for the times when her brief image would come to his 
mind for a moment or two and then disappear. 

Well, he had no cause to complain. Marie was a good wife. She knew how to 
take care of a person. Of course, after young Frank died, she said that she would 
have no more children. It was quite a shock to her. She had wanted a kid so bad. 


You could hardly blame her, though, not wanting to go through the trouble all 
over again, being afraid that the same thing might happen. But they had 
managed. Children weren’t everything, although Thornton had begun to wonder 
lately if a young boy might not be pretty fine to have around for company on 
one of these trips, or when Marie went into one of those mopey spells. 

The sun was coming up over the Bay, and the grey sky began to brighten with 
streaks of orange. The leaves on the small trees at the edge of the cornfield had 
stopped their rustling and trembling. It was getting warmer. Thornton took off 
his gloves, carefully stuck them in the decoy bag, and peered out from the side 
of the blind. Out on the river the mist had lifted. He could see the woodland on 
the other shore; and outlined against it in the channel the ducks bobbed like 
pinheads far out beyond the rickety fish stakes. Two seagulls lifted up from the 
water near the beach with a short splash, and winged slowly over the blind. It 
occurred to Thornton that seagulls were very smart. They knew a duck hunter 
when they saw one. They knew he was not after gulls. Or were they just stupid? 
Perhaps the fact that no one ever shot at them made them dullwitted about such 
matters. With a sigh he sat down again behind the blind and lit a cigar, taking 
care to blow the smoke downward toward the sand. 

Thornton’s eyes wandered back toward his car. It was certainly nothing much 
more than a junk heap, but it managed to get him down to the river each year. 
The cylinders were acting up again, though, and the inside was a mess. When the 
prices came down on the new cars, he would have to get one, or even a good 
used car. By God, though, wasn’t money a pain in the neck? Ed Miles had said to 
him a few days ago that money wasn’t everything; but that was the way it was 
with people who were well set up in business. The ones who had all the money 
seemed to forget its value. Yes, and he remembered how Ed had managed to get 
all that money. He shouldn’t say “all that money,” for Ed was no millionaire, 
but by all rights (although Thornton disliked admitting it to anyone) he himself 
should be in Ed’s place instead of out on the route in the truck and reporting to 
Ed in his office three times a week. By God, sometimes he almost hated Ed 
Miles; but then, being sort of philosophical, he counted it up to bad luck, and 
tried to be as friendly to the fellow as possible. 

He remembered how it was that day when Mr. Simmons came down to 
Richmond to appoint a new District Sales Manager; how he and Ed stood out on 
the steps smoking while Mr. Simmons sat in the office looking over their 
references and credentials; how Ed kept saying sort of wistfully: “Hell, Frank, 
you’ll get it. You had a year of college,” and how all along, right up to that time, 
Thornton was confident that he’d get the job. 

But Ed got the position, and afterwards, when Thornton went in, bewildered 
and angry, Mr. Simmons had looked up at him through his thick glasses and said 
in the clipped, brusque voice: 

“I’m sorry, Thornton, but Miles seems to have a more satisfying sales record. 
Martha Washington Coffee appoints its district managers on the basis of sales 
alone. There’s nothing I can do, really, you should know that.” 

Then Thornton turned and went out, not daring to speak, for fear that he’d: 
get so mad that he’d throw something at Mr. Simmons’ bald head. Anger was ai 


funny thing. He didn’t often get mad, but when he did he felt as if he would 
burst it he didn’t do something, tear up things—anything. But getting angry 
never helped. After that he was cooler toward Ed, but friendly enough. It was 
silly to hold a grudge against a person. Just forget about it and be philosophical 
was the best policy. 

Thornton heard a dull chugging coming from the Bay. He peeped through the 
reeds and saw a line of oyster boats far down the river, heading upstream in the 
channel. That would be line, he thought. The boats would stir up the ducks and 
chase them toward the shore. He eased back down in the sand, and softly 
stroked the dog’s head, listened with pleasure to the distant puttering of the 
engines. He’d just sit it out and wait and then, by God, the ducks were certain to 
come in. 

He relit the cigar and gazed up into the sky where the crows were still gliding 
over the cornfield in the early morning sun. It was strange, he thought, how 
everything seemed always out of reach. Every time he got a chance at something 
big, he muffed it. But it was a good thing he always had his philosophy to settle 
back on. He had begun to wonder during the past years if perhaps the 
Methodists weren’t all wrong. How did they know? How may a man base his 
faith in anything sure, when everything is so uncertain? Even certainty was 
uncertain. The lodge, for instance. Why, that was all that he had heard the 
brothers talk about. All of them had told him that he was a sure thing for Grand 
Exalted Emir, and what had happened? The night of the election, they had made 
Jim Alderson Emir, and he had come out a poor third with Most Worthy Rajah. 
Of course he had been disappointed, who wouldn’t? And it was going to be a big 
year for the Lodge, too. But that was the way it went. 

When you had a bad heart, though, you couldn’t merely forget about it and 
be merry. You had to put your faith in something. But what? Every time you 
thought you had something sure—whango!—there it went. Maybe that young 
doctor was wrong, anyhow. It was natural for a man Thornton’s age to have high 
blood pressure, wasn’t it? That was the trouble with modern medicine. By God, 
every little ache and pain meant that you had cancer or thrombosis or prostate 
trouble. A man might as well have a good time while he can. 

“Ain’t that right, boy?” he said, scratching the dog’s long ears. “Huh? How 
about it, boy ?” 

Suddenly Thornton heard a fluttering sound above and behind him. Six ducks 
came over, wings down and flat, necks strained forward, and were gone before 
he had a chance to raise and throw the gun to his shoulder. Thornton was 
trembling with excitement. He looked out over the water. A flock of 
ducks—nearly ten or twelve—were headed in low across the water toward the 
decoys. He nervously fingered the stock of the gun, and spoke softly to the dog. 

“Ho, boy,” he whispered. “Steady. We’ll get ‘em now.” 

Thornton crouched tensely behind the reeds, hardly breathing. The blood 
rushed to his brain, and he could feel his cheeks becoming flushed with a thrill 
of anticipation. The ducks were coming in fast, skimming over the surface of the 
waves to the bobbing decoys. When they were about twice gunshot range, he 
softly pressed against the safety catch. His whole body was quivering in 


fascination as he watched the ducks scud past the fish stakes and into range. 
“Hold it,” he thought, “hold it ’til they’re on the decoys.” They were so close 
now that he could tell what kind they were. All mallards. “Don’t get up too 
soon,” he cautioned himself. Suddenly, they were on top of the decoy. 
Thornton stood up quickly and took a sight on a fat drake which was flying at 
the head of the flock. His left hand shook so that he could hardly keep the gun 
steady. He pulled the right trigger with a sharp jerk. A miss. Trembling, he lined 
up on another drake who was swiftly heading down river. His eyes began to blur. 
He cursed himself silently. Blindly he pulled the trigger. Another miss. Thornton 
took the gun from his shoulder and jammed the butt in the sand in bitter 

“Damn!” he said. “Damn!” 

The dog was out among the decoys, splashing about excitedly for the ducks 
which were not there. Suddenly Thornton saw two stray mallards winging in 
toward the decoys from the fish stakes. He called frantically to the dog. 

“Come here, come here! Get out of there!” 

The damned dog would scare them away! He fumbled wildly in his pocket for 
two shells, and popped them in to the barrels. 

“Get out of there!” he yelled. “Come in here!” The dog, unheeding, 
continued to paddle around in the shallow water. Thornton crouched rigidly 
behind the blind. He saw the two ducks come within range and then, seeing the 
dog, they swerved in a wide arc to the left down the river. Thornton ran madly 
out onto the beach, stumbling in the sand and driftwood. He was breathing in 
deep gasps as he came to a halt by the water and raised the gun to his shoulder. 
Taking a sight on the swiftly disappearing ducks, he released both barrels at 
once. Both misses! Out of range. His heart was pounding, and his brain ached 
and throbbed. As he stood there, his whole body became weak and limp, as if 
made of water. A sharp pain surged up from his chest and then to his neck. Then 
the river and the sunlight faded quickly and vanished. He fell forward and 
collapsed in the sand. 

The dog swam to the beach, padded softly up to the prone figure, and sniffed 
at a limp hand. Then he sat down, trembling. After a moment he got up, shook 
off the water, and trotted back to the shelter of the blind. 




She was tall, and straight. She wore 
her hair in a smooth dark bun just above 
her collar and never, no matter how tired 
she was, did she let her shoulders sag. 
Rounded shoulders were a sure sign of 
age and although she was no longer 
young—forty-seven next January and 
already a few lines beginning around her 
mouth—she felt that she was not yet at 
the sagging foot-shuffling stage and she 
was determined to avoid it for a good 
while yet. She heard the whispers at 
cocktail parties, when she came in with 
the gold combs in her hair and her black 
velvet on. She knew that they no longer 
said what a beautiful woman Harriet 
Landing was but they did say how 
striking she was, what a beautiful woman 
she must have been when she was young. 
They all said what a perfect sense of poise 
Harriet Landing had, and that was enough 
to satisfy her. 

She was thinking about that as she 
walked across the bridge, and as she 
thought she pulled her shoulders back 
consciously and brushed a wisp of hair 
from her face. It was a cold day for 
November, windy and grey with a 
wetness in the air above the river. She had 
put on a trenchcoat and a small hat, 
because her studio was stuffy and she 
needed a rest, and she had stepped 
outside without any more purpose than 

to get a breath of fresh air and a change 
of scenery. But when she withdrew from 
herself and watched her own figure from 
a distance, she knew that nothing in her 
walk would show that she had no 
purpose. Every step was firm and sure, as 
if there were a crowd of people around 
her and she was stepping with calm poise 
through all of them. She was always 
careful of that even when there was no 
one but herself to watch. 

But when she was halfway across the 
bridge she discovered that there was 
another person after all, a little girl with 
her elbows on the steel railing and her 
face set to the north. Harriet could not 
see exactly what the child was doing, or 
whether she was aware of Harriet’s 
presence, but she instantly felt that her 
aloneness had been broken and she had to 
be even more careful in front of this 
child. She hid her paint-covered hands 
quickly in her pockets, she began looking 
more cheerful and she made her eyes take 
on that half-worried, introspective look 
that people have when they are thinking 
by themselves and are too busy to be 
bothered. But out of the corner of her 
eye, when she was certain the little girl 
was not watching her, she made a brief 
survey. Ten years old, she would 
guess—certainly no more, maybe less. A 
little round face and a firm straight 



mouth that was set tight now against the 
wind. There was nothing unusual about 
her in herself, but there was something in 
her expression, closed and calm—Harriet 
walked by without slowing down, and 
carried in her mind that picture, but just 
thinking about that face made her stop 
suddenly as if she had forgotten 
something. She stood there with her back 
to the child, and thought a minute, and 
then she turned again and looked back. 
The little figure was still there, the little 
brown coat whipping in the wind and the 
straight fair hair blowing back so that it 
almost hid that side of her face. She was 
not even glancing in Harriet’s direction; 
she was staring out at the river and she 
had maybe never even noticed that 
Harriet was there at all. 

Harriet felt the beginning of 
something. She was not sure what it was; 
it was something frightening that she did 
not want and she began walking very 
hurriedly toward the stone bench in the 
middle of that bridge. She had the sudden 
ridiculous feeling that this thing 
happening inside her was sort of sneeze, 
and she had to hurry to the bench and get 
out a Kleenex before the sneeze began. 
But when she sat down she was not sure 
why she had done so. She put her feet 
together and straightened her shoulders, 
and she brushed the piece of hair back 
again because somehow she always felt 
that composing herself externally had an 
effect of internal composure as well and 
that was above all things what she needed 
at the moment. Then she leaned back 
against the railing and looked at the little 
figure down at the end of the bridge. She 
would look at that child, she told herself, 
until this whole ridiculous feeling had 
passed and she could completely regain 
her presence of mind and go home. When 
she got home she would make herself a 

cup of tea and put the last finishes on 
that still life for the Arts Festival. And 
she would not go out again until this fog 
lifted and one could be halfway cheerful 
in the out-of-doors. 

When she looked at the child, still 
standing there, she felt a whole torrent of 
unassociated memories rushing up to 
meet her. They pushed to the surface of 
her mind and after a brief struggle she 
gave up and sat quietly thinking about 
them and watching the little girl on the 

She could remember the first picture 
she had ever sold, every strong straight 
line and muted color in it. No, she could 
remember before that, she could 
remember the mornings of painting and 
then discarding, of sitting alone over her 
noontime cup of tea and then beginning 
all over again in the afternoon. She could 
remember bright sunny mornings, and 
beautiful stormy mornings, mornings 
when she had stood by the window with 
her hair hanging down and her feet bare 
and had thought of all the things there 
were to paint. She was going to paint 
everything, back then. She had lived on 
tea and grape-nuts and painted far into 
the night, and nobody could persuade her 
to leave it even for a minute. “Weird 
pieces of introspection,” the critics called 
it, “cold, and lacking all emotion; and too 
complicated and ambitious.” She had 
read that calmly, without being much 
affected about it, because she recognized 
what they said as true but she had a 
feeling about this, a half-formed idea that 
there was a way to paint the whole world, 
and all its dignity, in just one single 
picture. She did not want to set down 
every single thought and action—no, she 
was too realistic for that. But it seemed 
to her as if there were some one emotion, 
one action, that was the summation of all 


the emotions and actions that had ever 
been. It was nameless, maybe, and as yet 
unknown. But she, Harriet Landing, 
would discover it and put it on a canvas, 
and that would be the world. 

Now, looking over at the child on the 
bridge, she felt the foolishness of that old 
idea penetrating her serenity even after all 
these years, so that she was ashamed to 
be sitting her staring at a ten-year-old 
child leaning on a railing. Maybe I’m not 
as old as I thought, she told herself. If I’m 
still going around thinking about that, 
maybe I’m not as old as I thought. But 
for once that thought was a little 
depressing and she arose with a sigh and 
started back down the bridge. 

When she was almost beside the child 
she decided to speak. She told herself 
that it was high time she did; she looked 
back to all the countless people she had 
seen lately, the people on streetcorners 
and subways and park benches, that had 
made this same sort of beginning feeling 
inside her in the last three months or so, 
and she told herself it was time to get 
over all this. You’re getting senile, 
Harriet, she told herself. Well, we’ll put a 
stop to that. 

She went over to the railing, beside the 
child, and looked straight out toward the 
river. She felt very frightened—she could 
not remember feeling that frightened 
since she was very young. But she took a 
deep breath and said, “Hello” very 
firmly. She thought the word fell like a 
dimestore bracelet before her on the 
railing, but it was too late to reach out 
and catch it back. 

“Hello,” the child said. She had 
solemn brown eyes and the eyes were 
saying Go away, I don’t want to be 
bothered; I am very young and I can only 
be polite for so long. The words 
unspoken were exactly mingled with the 

fog and Harriet wanted to say, “I see” 
out loud, and almost did before she 
realized the child had not actually spoken 
the words. Harriet turned and left, with 
her hands in her pockets and her smooth 
head high. She did not feel at all 
hurt—she was pleased, really, at the 
complete dignity of the little girl. But in 
the back of her mind there was something 
puzzling her, something that she could 
not exactly put into words. She thought 
back to all the people she had felt this 
way about in the past few months—the 
old waiter who tilted from side to side 
when he walked, like a rocking-horse in 
the wind; the big-boned woman with the 
collie and the little newsboy with the 
runny nose. She felt as if they were in a 
line, staring at her from a movie screen. 
At night now they would walk before her 
in a sort of religious procession, and every 
one would be looking at her and trying to 
tell her something. 

It occurred to her that the only way to 
find out about this would be to talk to 
them, and the one whom it seemed most 
likely she would meet again was the little 
girl. She tried to imagine the two of them 
standing on the bridge again, only talking 
this time, in long sentences about 
important things. But when she thought 
about it it seemed as if she were being 
unrealistic somewhere, as if it were two 
girls she was talking to—one of them a 
separate silent entity and the other an 
animated conversationalist gesturing in 
the wind. She couldn’t think which one 
was the little girl; she tried again and 
again and she failed each time. If I figure 
this out, she thought irrationally, I’ll 
paint a picture of that child. I’ll make it 
splashy and wild, I’ll forget all the 
discipline I ever learned. She smiled to 
herself as she thought how the critics 
would look if they saw Harriet Landing 
paint an emotional picture. 


It was in 1934 that the problem of 
discipline in her painting first came up. 
She had been painting a series of blurred, 
reckless pictures, with no thought or 
feeling behind them because she had 
thought that perhaps she might just sort 
ol stumble across something she was 
looking for. But the critics disapproved; 
they even refused to admit it was art in a 
few cases and there had been a great furor 
about it. And then, in one day, her whole 
concept of art had changed. She 
remembered it well because she had come 
back from a walk on this same bridge, 
had crossed on the same grassy bank to 
go up to her own street. But going over to 
the bridge, away from her house, she had 
not been alone. She had been with 
someone—oh, that small blond man who 
collected American folksongs in all the 
backwoods in America; she forgot his 
name but he had wanted to marry her 
and she had smiled and said no, with that 
same old dull feeling that was nothing but 
pity and maybe a little tiredness because 
she had heard it all before. She went back 
home by herself, because the blond man 
was going on to New York from there. 
And she went out back of her house, in 
the little flower-garden, and sat thinking 
about what was wrong with her and why 
it was so hard for her to feel things. She 
wondered how she could ever paint, or 
even live, if this was the way it was going 
to be. And then, while she was thinking 
about that a gardener came up, with a 
wheelbarrow, and parked it beside her on 
a heap of dirt. He was a very little old 
man, and she hardly noticed when he 
came or left. But it was the 
wheelbarrow—that it was. The big green 
wheelbarrow beside her, empty—she 
looked at it, and suddenly inside her 
there was a beginning of something, a 
remembering of something. She was not 

sure what it was and she did not bother 
to investigate it, because it seemed too 
silly. It seemed ludicrous that a 
wheelbarrow could do this to her and yet 
people, with all their words and tears and 
desperateness, could not. She laughed for 
a minute and then stopped abruptly and 
went inside. She mixed some brown paint 
and some green and painted a 
wheelbarrow, very simple and disciplined, 
against a solid background. All the while 
she was painting she felt ridiculously like 
one of those little girls who are so fat in 
grammar school, and draw fat girls on the 
blackboards all the time as a sort of 
self-torture; she felt as if the empty 
wheelbarrow were a caricature of herself 
but the whole thing was so funny 
somehow that she never even tried to 
remember after that what it was the 
wheelbarrow reminded her of. She hung 
the picture in a modern art exhibition in 
Chicago and when it was up she stood 
back and laughed at it. It won second 
prize, though, and five hundred dollars, 
and the critics said it was a study in 
detachment and asked tor more. 

Since, then, she had painted 
constantly and she had an excellent sense 
of discipline. 

Now, as she remembered that, she 
could smile. She smiled as she opened the 
door of her familiar old apartment and 
smelled the corned-beef hash coming 
from the kitchen—her brother Edward 
had come up from his home in Grover to 
spend the weekend and he always did the 
cooking while he was there. Harriet 
waved a hand to him and said, “It’s bitter 
out; there’s a wind from the north,” and 
went on into the studio. 

“It’s a good day tor painting,” she 
heard Edward answer. He always thought 
of that; he was very proud of his sister’s 


In the studio she stood looking around 
at the canvasses stacked on the floor, the 
easels by the window. She wondered 
whether she could paint the child on the 
bridge—would that tell her anything? And 
then she sighed and asked herself what it 
was she wanted to know, anyway. “I’m 
going to start a new picture today,” she 
called to Edward. “A child, maybe.” 

“A what?” There was a pause and then 
Edward himself came to the door of the 
studio, his slightly bald head tilted 
toward her. “Did you say a child? \ ou ve 
never done any children before.” 

“Well, I am now.” She took a smock 
from a nail by the door and fastened it on 
over her white blouse, pretending not to 
notice Edward. He was her brother and 
she was fond of him in a reasonable sort 
of way but he irritated her when he stood 
there like that, a slender question-mark of 
a man looking worried about her. 

“What about the Arts Festival 
picture?” he asked. "The still life? 

“Later,” she said absently. She took 
the still life from the easel and stood it 
carefully beneath the window, and then 
she took a clean canvas, one she had 
stretched just a few days ago, and set it 
up. She could see the picture already, 
every line of it. She could see the strength 
of it, the form, the nameless expression 
on the face of the little girl. Even 
thinking about it gave her a vague feeling 
of restlessness and excitement. It would 
be like the old days, it would be the 
picture she never quite got around to, the 
one she had searched out windows for 
when she was still young. It would be one 
last try for the nameless emotion, and if 
it turned out that it was love-even 
streetcorner, subway, parkbench sort ol 
love — she would just accept that and 
admit that her life had been wrong. And 
she would change-she would even 

change, but she hoped she didn’t have to. 

Edward called lunch; he dished it up 
and said, “Okay, Sis, come eat.” 

But Harriet said, “No, not yet.” 

“Well, should I go ahead? Do you 
want me to wait?” 

“No, no; go on.” She felt herself 
wishing he would not talk so much. There 
was something clinging about Edward, 
something that made him always want to 
discuss things and run them into the 
ground, and tell her all his troubles and 
expect Harriet to tell hers. And if she 
did—she sometimes did; she had to admit 
that-he would keep bringing it up again 
and again. He would say, About that 
problem of yours, Harriet; I ve been 
thinking — ” and “I ran into a friend 
downtown today who says he has the 
same trouble as you, Harriet” and “You 
know, I’ve just figured out what’s wrong 
with you, Harriet — ”. And Harriet would 
hate herself for telling him anything, for 
letting him know too much about her. 
There was, she told herself, a certain 
shamefulness in letting a person know too 
much about you. And even in seeing into 
them, because when you said you 
understood about someone s being 
worried about dying, or feeling guilty 
about an evil, or being a coward, it 
implied that the same traits were in you 
also and always when that happened 
Harriet felt betrayed. She felt—a lack of 
dignity, that was it. Maybe that was why 
she always thought it would be bad to 
love anyone. When Harriet s mother 
died—Harriet had been ten at the time 
and she had loved her mother more than 
anything else in the world—she had asked 
to speak to Harriet a minute and she had 
told her that now, when Harriet’s training 
could no longer be in her own hands and 
she had to get it all into one brief minute, 


the only thing she could think of that 
would cover everything at once was just 
nothing could go wrong if you kept your 
dignity. Not the superficial head-high 
kind of dignity, she said, but the deeper 
kind, the sort of human dignity. And 
Harriet had nodded, not because she 
understood even a little that there was 
any difference between the two but 
because she felt rather numb and hopeless 
and she sensed that her mother expected 
some sort of response from her. After 
that they took Harriet away and a few 
days later her mother died. So she never 
saw her mother again, not even at the 
funeral because she was too young to 
attend and she stayed out all that 
afternoon in the tool-shed, sitting in a big 
green wheelbarrow and holding a 
yard-cap in her lap, not crying but just 
feeling as if she had loved everything too 
much and it had been a mistake. When it 
was dark and the voices began across the 
lawn she remembered about her dignity, 
that was the most important thing about 
living, and she stood up and smoothed 
her hair and went into the house. 

Now, stroking the paint on to the 
canvas and looking over at her brother 
occasionally, where he sat eating his hash, 
she found herself wishing that her brother 
had been told about dignity too. And 
then again —she felt her thoughts 
switching suddenly and unexplainably to 
the little girl on the bridge, and she 
wondered which was the right little girl, 
out of the two that existed somewhere in 
her—the open-faced talkative little girl or 
the silent composed one. One thing she 
knew, out of all her years of living, and 
that was that the open little girl and the 
closed little girl couldn’t possibly be 
combined. But then Edward began 
talking about his wife’s smoking habits 
and Harriet forced herself to listen to 

him. “Yes, Edward,” she said, “I think so 
too, Edward,” and her palette knife went 
on making its soft whit, whit sound 
against the canvas. 

It took her three weeks after that, 
three weeks of painting and drying and 
planning and painting again. She sent 
Edward a letter saying that she was 
painting like mad and had no time to play 
hostess in the next few weeks, and 
Edward sent a rather hurt letter back 
about how he would not think of 
troubling her if she were that busy. She 
bought turpentine by the gallons because 
she seemed to be making more of a mess 
than usual and she rubbed a lot out. At 
the end of the second week all she was 
eating was tea and grape-nuts and she 
went to bed only very late. When she did 
go to bed she couldn’t sleep; she tossed 
and turned and thought about the 
painting. Mainly what she was thinking 
was that if the painting came out all right 
she would be proved wrong on something; 
exactly what she was not sure, but if the 
painting was bad she was back where she 
started from and that would be even 
worse. The one good thing about being 
back at the beginning was that it would 
be like the old days, when she stood 
barefoot in front of windows. Oh, I must 
be getting old, she thought; I am an old 
woman and I’ll probably spend the rest of 
my days looking for something I thought 
I’d missed. 

In the daytime she never thought that 
way. She thought very little, actually; she 
went on with her daily routine but 
mainly she was wrapped up in her 
painting. There was a problem about that 
painting, one that she had never 
encountered before. She couldn’t do the 
face on the child. It stared out at her like 
a blank blind circle and she could not for 
the life of her fill it. She thought 


sometimes maybe she had forgotten the 
child’s expression; she would pace the 
room for long periods of time trying to 
remember. And then it would come to 
her, swimming up to her out of fog, and 
she would wonder how she could ever 
have forgotten that, ever for one minute. 
But then it was worse than before 
because she could see the face and then 
not paint it. It was as if every bit of her 
ability had left her; she forgot how to 
paint the minute she began to reconcile 
the two little girls in her mind. First she 
would pick up the brush and start to 
paint the animated, loving little face she 
had imagined when she thought about 
talking to the child, and then she would 
think about the calm dignity of the face 
she had actually seen and she would 
throw down her brush in despair, because 
the loving face and dignified face would 
become totally confused with each other 
and she knew that was impossible. She 
felt as if she were nineteen again, and just 
learning, with strong clumsy fingers and 
uncertain eyes. 

In the evening she would put a coat on 
and go out walking with her hands in her 
pockets. She felt very old now when she 
was not painting and she had to be 
careful so that her shoulders would not 
sag and no one would guess her age. But 
when she was walking along the river or 
through one of the narrow streets she 
would sometimes catch a glimpse of 
something—a young boy shaking gravel 
out of his sneakers, a woman tucking her 
son’s shirt in while he stood impatiently 
tugging away—and she could feel the 
same feeling that she had before. She 
would stand on the corner and think Yes, 
that’s it, that’s what I was looking for, 
and she would want to thank someone, 
anyone, but not knowing who to thank 
and being a little wary of a God she 

usually ended up thanking no one at all 
and, eventually, feeling even a little 
foolish and depressed as she walked home 

The only one who knew about all this 
was Bernard, the thin young poet who 
lived below her. He had pried it out of 
her somehow—she didn’t know how; she 
should have known better—and he did his 
best to help but he acted the way she 
knew he would act, and all he did was 
bother her. 

“You are experiencing a basic 
emotional need,” he told her, and she 
couldn’t be insulted because it was so 
ridiculous. ‘‘Did you ever want to get 
married?” he asked. 

And Harriet said “No,” because she 
could remember when she was just a child 
and Edward had asked her the same 
question, and she could remember even 
exactly how she had felt then and exactly 
why she had answered no. They had been 
at the beach with a group of their father’s 
friends—fat pale men who lay sprawled in 
the sand, pasty-legged women in stylish 
bathing suits who shrieked with laughter 
at whatever anyone’s husband happened 
to be saying. There were so many people 
that Harriet seemed to feel fine sand 
constantly floating into her eyes. Edward 
had seen a woman in a red bathing suit, 
the pretty lipsticked sort of woman that 
most very small boys decide they would 
like to marry when they are grown, and 
he said, “Harriet, would you ever like to 
be married?” Harriet had rolled over on 
her stomach and said, “No,” because she 
thought that was the longest and most 
final thing you could do, getting married. 
She got up a little on her elbows and 
looked across the sand at the people, and 
it seemed to her suddenly as if the sand 
were the palm of her hand and the people 
were her own bad teeth that some dentist 


had just pulled out and laid there in her 
hand. And someone beside her was 
saying, “Harriet, are those your teeth?” 
but she kept saying no because she had 
already made up her mind that there 
wasn’t anyone who could make her admit 
that, even though they were hers. 

She told all this to Bernard, hating 
herself for doing so. She said, “Well, I’ve 
had my chances at marriage, Bernard, but 
you know—” 

And Bernard nodded and toyed with 
his watchband. “Is there anyone that you 
love besides these people on street 
corners?” he asked. “Anyone you 
know?” But Harriet thought she had 
already told him too much and she just 
sat silent and beat the edge ol her canvas 
with a dirty paintbrush. She was wishing 
he would just stop talking for a minute, 
and they could sit quietly and be two 
separate people thinking their own 
separate thoughts. 

When the paint on the picture had 
been dry three weeks and there was still 
the blank questioning face, Harriet put on 
her coat and went to stand on the bridge 
after breakfast. She took a lunch, and a 
book, and while she was aware of the 
dumb stubbornness of what she was doing 
sne was at the same time conscious ot an 
overwhelming sense of purpose and she 
did not for a moment think of turning 
back. She sat on the bridge till noon, and 
then she ate her lunch and began walking 
up and down the sidewalk by the railing. 
Once in the afternoon, when she had 
finished her book, she went to the 
drugstore on the other side of the bridge 
and picked up a pocket-book of poetry. 
But she was very sure that she took no 
longer than necessary, no longer than it 
could take a child to get more than 
halfway across the bridge. She came back 
sat on the bridge till dark. The caretaker 

came out to talk to her, probably out of 
curiosity; he was a big rough man with a 
dark stubble and too long hair. “Are you 
waiting for someone?” he asked, and she 
nodded but she decided not to tell him 
about the child, or the wheelbarrow, or 
the people on street corners. She said, 
“I’m an artist; I’m thinking,” and that 
was the truth, as near as she could come 
to it. The man seemed puzzled but he left 
her alone. After that she only looked up 
twice from her book, once when a ship 
came and she had to get on the 
immovable part of the bridge, and once 
when she felt a headache coming on and 
took a short walk down the bridge for 
exercise. At ten o’clock, when she knew 
no mother would allow a ten-year old 
out, she went home and drank some hot 
tea. The face on the painting seemed to 
be waiting still, but she was not bothered 
by it and she went to sleep feeling that 
she had done all she could do for that 

When she told Bernard about it the 
next morning—it was Monday and there 
was no sense going to the bridge until 
school let out—Bernard was worried and 
pressed his hands together flat and stared 
into his teacup. He said, “You’re tired, 
Harriet; you wouldn’t make so much of 
this if you weren’t tired.” And Harriet 
felt suddenly as if it were not she he was 
seeing, Harriet Landing but the 
prototyped things about her, her age and 
her bun, her being a spinster. She wanted 
to shriek in his ear, to stand on a chair 
and say, “Look, it’s Harriet; it’s no one 
else,” but that would have been ludicrous 
at her age and all she did was pour herself 
some more tea. 

That afternoon it grew colder, with a 
strong wind coming from the north and 
rippling the water in the grey river. 
Harriet put on a good thick winter coat 


and some fleece-lined boots, and she took 
with her a sketch pad but as soon as she 
got on the bridge she realized that it was 
much too cold to do any work out there. 
As it turned out, she didn’t have to wait 
long anyway—fifteen minutes, maybe 
twenty. She was beginning to think for 
the first time that this was all a little 
childish and perhaps she should go in, 
when she saw three children coming 
down the street towards the bridge. They 
were too far away for her to see them 
clearly, but she saw that there were two 
little girls and a boy. Her child, the one 
she had been waiting for, was in the 
middle, dressed in the same brown coat 
but this time wearing a white scarf of 
some sort, that long kind that little girls 
always wore wound around their necks. 
She looked like a small brown parcel tied 
with string and waiting to be opened. 

Harriet at first felt only a sense of 
unbelief. She felt as if she had not been 
expecting to see the child ever again, as if 
the child had been a child out of a dream. 
And then she was afraid; she wanted to 
run but she stood there with a sense of 
panic while the little girl stood laughing 
with the others on the sidewalk. She 
looked different when she was with other 
children, happier and more animated. She 
was scraping one foot around aimlessly 
on the sidewalk, and once when the little 
boy said something she covered her 
mouth as if she were giggling, and stood 
on tiptoe to whisper into the other girl’s 
ear. Harriet closed her eyes for a minute 
and turned away toward the river. From 
behind her she could hear the voices 
rising suddenly into loud clear good-byes, 
and when she turned back the little girl 
was walking alone across the bridge. She 
was coming closer and closer, and when 
she got within a hundred feet of Harriet 
she hopped up on the first rail and leaned 

over it to watch a bird circling near the 
water. Her face had the same closed 
expression, the same mouth set against 
the wind, that Harriet had tried to 
remember when she was painting her. 

It was almost an effort to walk 
towards the child. Harriet felt suddenly 
big and tall and awkward, moving with 
hard too-loud steps in the wind. She kept 
having the feeling that by the time she 
had reached the little girl she would be 
old; her shoulders would be sagging and 
her face lined and grey. She tried to think 
of what she would say, of how she would 
say it with a young calm face and firm 
voice. But in the middle of all the 
thoughts she kept seeing the little girl 
laughing with those children. She could 
see again the small white blur that was 
the child’s hand, clapped against the 
wind-set mouth the way all ten-year-old 
girls did when something was funny. She 
could see the other little girl, pale and 
almost fat in her red coat, and she could 
see her own child reaching up to press her 
face against the flat straw hair of her 
friend, whispering something. But all 
these Harriet shook off and she made her 
steps click evenly along the cold sidewalk. 

The child heard her coming. She kept 
looking out but she straightened her back 
and her face seemed alert, listening to the 
footsteps. When Harriet stopped beside 
her the little girl turned and looked 
squarely at her. It was obvious that she 
recognized Harriet; it was surprising, after 
all this time and only that brief unseeing 
encounter, but her face was knowing and 
she smiled. “Hello,” she said. 

“Hello.” Harriet kept her voice young. 
“It’s cold, isn’t it?” 

“Certainly is. Going to snow tonight, 
my mother says.” She smiled out again 
toward the river with the sure confidence 
of someone very young and small who 


knows that she is being watched. She is 
waiting tor me to say something else, 
Harriet thought. She expects me to keep 
talking to her and she’s going to talk back 
too. Before this, when she had not 
imagined that the child would recognize 
her, she had thought it would not be too 
hard to think of things to say. But now 
there was nothing; she looked into the 
child’s open friendly face and she thought 
of how the child had laughed with the 
other little girl, looking for a minute just 
the way all little girls looked. She smiled 
and watched the little girl as she 
unwound her white scarf, unwinding it as 
if she were a sort of parcel and the scarf a 
string that spilled the contents on the 
ground, and she felt a tremendous sense 
of relief. “I’m going in,” Harriet said. 
“Good-bye.” She caught a glimpse of a 
surprised expression, and then the little 
face was behind her and she was walking 
toward the grassy bank. She didn’t look 
back once, even though she felt sure that 
the little girl was watching her go. 

Harriet was almost home before she 
thought of the painting. Oh well, she 

thought, she would leave the face blank 
and send it into the January exhibition 
that way; the painting had a certain 
beautiful dignity about it and what else 
did it need, what could she put in that 
little oval that would be any more 
important? Nothing. She was surprised to 
find that this was a bit of relief to her, as 
if she had been dreading some sort of 
sneeze or something that had not 
happened after all. And as she walked she 
smiled to herself, stepped more briskly 
through the grass on the bank. Once, just 
as she reached the sidewalk, she stopped 
as if she were suddenly not sure about 
something; she turned back toward the 
bridge and frowned a little. But then she 
shrugged and resolutely continued on up 
the hill. She thought about painting some 
this evening, maybe finishing up that still 
life. It would be like the old days, when 
she was young and barefoot, and she 
would be looking for something every 
time she put a brushstroke on the canvas. 
And at this she smiled, and walked faster, 
with her face calm and her shoulders 
straight and firm. 



He was the first boy I met at camp. He had got there before me, and he and a 
man were taking things out of a suitcase when I walked into the cabin. He came 
over and started talking right away without even knowing me. He even shook 
hands. I don’t think I had ever shaken hands with anyone my own age before. 
Not that I minded. I was just surprised and had to find a place to put my duffle 
bag before I could give him my hand. His name was Michael, Michael Egerton. 
He was taller than I was, and although it was only June he already had the sort 
of suntan that would leave his hair white all summer. I knew he couldn’t be 
more than twelve. I wouldn’t be twelve until February, if you were twelve you 
usually had to go to one of the senior cabins across the hill. But his face was old 
because of the bones under his eyes that showed through the skin. 

He introduced me to the man. It was his father, but they didn’t look alike. 
His father was a newspaperman, and the suitcase they were unpacking had 
stickers on it that said Rome and Paris, London and Bombay. His father said he 
would be going back to Europe soon to report about the Army and that Michael 
would be settled here in camp for a while. I was to keep an eye on Mike, he said, 
and if he got to France in time he would try to send us something. He said that 
he could tell that Mike and I were going to be great friends and that I might 
want to go with Mike to his aunt’s when camp was over. I might like to see 
where Old Mike would be living from now on. It was a beautiful place, he said. I 
could tell that he was getting ready to leave. He had seen Michael make up his 
bed and fill the locker with clothes, and he was beginning to talk like everybody 
does when they are leaving somewhere—sort of loud and with a lot of laughing. 

He took Michael over to a corner, and I started unpacking my bag. I could see 
them though, and he gave Michael some money and they talked about how 
much Michael was going to enjoy the summer and how much bigger he would be 
when his father got back and how he was to think of his aunt just like a mother. 


Then Michael reached up and kissed his father. He didn’t seem at all embarrassed 
to do it. They walked back towards me, and in a voice louder than before Mr. 
Egerton told me again to keep an eye on Old Mike—not that he would need it 
but it wouldn’t hurt. That was kind of funny since Michael was so much bigger 
than I was, but anyway I said I would because that was what I was supposed to 
say. And then he left. He said there wouldn’t be any need for Mike to walk with 
him to the car, but Michael wanted to so I watched them walk down the hill 
together. They stood by the car for a minute; and then Michael kissed him again, 
right in front of all those boys and parents and counselors. Michael stood there 
until his father’s car had passed through the camp gate. He waved once. Then he 
came on back up the hill. 

All eight of the boys in our cabin went to the dining hall together that night, 
but afterward at campfire Michael and I sat a little way off from the others and 
talked softly while they sang. He talked some about his father and how he was 
one of the best war correspondents in the business. It wasn’t like he was bragging 
because he asked me about my father and what my mother was like. I started to 
ask him about his mother, but I remembered that he hadn’t said anything about 
her and I thought she might be dead. But in a little while he said very 
matter-of-factly that his mother didn’t live with him and his father, hadn’t lived 
with them for almost a year. That was all. He hadn’t seen his mother for a year. 
He didn’t say whether she was sick or what and I wasn’t going to ask. 

For a long time after that we didn’t say anything. We were sitting on a mound 
at the foot of a tree just high enough to look down on all the boys around the 
fire. They were all red in the light, and those furthest from the blaze huddled 
together and drew their heads down because the nights in the mountains were 
cold, even in June. They had started singing a song that I didn’t know. It was 
called “Green Grow the Rushes.” But Michael knew it and sang it and I listened 
to him. It was almost like in church with one person singing against a large, soft 
chair. At the end the camp director stood up and made a speech about this was 
going to be the best season in the history of Redwood which was the finest camp 
in the land—as it was bound to be with as fine a group of boys and counselors as 
he had sitting right here in front of him. He said that it would be a perfect 
summer if everybody would practice the Golden Rule twenty four hours a day 
and treat everybody like we wanted to be treated—like real men. 

When we got back to the cabin the other boys were already running around in 
the lantern light naked and slapping each others behinds with wet towels. But 
soon the counselor blew the light out, and we got in bed in the dark. Michael 
was in the bunk over me. We had sentence prayers. Michael asked God to bless 
his father when he got to France. One boy named Robin Mickle who was a 
Catholic said a Hail Mary. It surprised most of the others. Some of them even 
laughed like he was telling a joke. Everything quieted down though, and we were 
half sleep when somebody started blowing taps on a bugle. It woke us all up, and 
we waited in the dark for it to stop so we could sleep. 

Michael turned out to be my best friend. Every morning after breakfast 
everybody was supposed to lie on their beds quietly for Thought Time and think 


about the Bible, but Michael and I would sit on my bed and talk. 1 told Michael 
a lot of things that I had never told anyone else. I don’t know why I told him. I 
just wanted him to know everything there was to know about me. It was a long 
time before I realized that I really didn’t know much about Michael except what 
I could see—that he didn’t live with his mother and his father was a great war 
correspondent who was probably back in France now. He just wasn’t the kind to 
tell you a lot. He would listen to everything you had to say like he wanted to 
hear it and was glad that you wanted to tell him. But then he would change the 
subject and start talking about baseball or something. He was a very good 
baseball player, the best on the junior cabin team. Every boy in our cabin was on 
the team, and it looked like with Michael pitching that we might take the junior 

I sowed my dragons’ teeth 
and only blue plush teddy bears 
with their right eyes missing 
rose to do me battle; 

Not a stone, but a kiss 
thrown in their midst 
stopped them; 

And the fleece was not a golden fleece, 

but a champagne saran wig with patented ear warmers; 

And my Argo was a terry, 

sailing between orange peels and oil slicks 

back and forth 

across the Hudson. 

I wrote that yesterday 

outside the public library, 

leaning against a crouching marble lion 

which rose and stiffened 

with its mouth wide open 


in a violent silent roar, 
while a spider ran diligently 
back and forth 
spinning a web 
from shining gray tooth 
to shining gray tooth. 



title for the Colossians. That was the name of our team. All the athletic teams in 
camp were named for one of the letters that St. Paul wrote. We practiced every 
afternoon after rest period, but first we went to the main lodge for mail. I got a 
letter almost every day, and Michael had got two or three from his aunt, but it 
wasn’t until almost three weeks passed that he got the airmail letter from 
France. There weren’t any pictures or souvenirs in it, but I don’t suppose Mr. 
Egerton had too much time for that. He did mention me although I could tell by 
the way he wrote that he didn’t remember my name. Still it was very nice to be 
thought of by a famous war correspondent. Michael said that we could write him 
a letter together and that he would ask his father for a picture. I had a picture of 
my parents inside my locker but Michael didn’t. 

The weeks went faster than I had expected. At first I had been afraid of being 
homesick, but with Michael and all the things to do I wasn’t. There was only 
about a week of camp left, and then we would go home. That was why we were 
playing the semifinals that day—so the winners could be recognized at the 
Farewell Banquet on the last night of camp. The Colossians were going to play 
the Ephesians after rest period. We were all in the cabin trying to rest, but 
everybody was too excited, everybody except Michael who was almost asleep 
when the camp director walked in and said that Michael Egerton was to go down 
to the Lodge porch right away as he had visitors. Michael got up and combed his 
hair, and just before he left he told everybody that he would see them at the 
game and that we were going to win. 

The Lodge wasn’t too far from our cabin, and I could see him walking down 
there. A car was parked by the porch. Michael got pretty close to it. Then he 
stopped. I thought he had forgotten something and was coming back to the 
cabin, but the car doors opened and a man and a woman got out. I knew that it 
was his mother. He couldn’t have looked any more like her. She bent over and 
kissed him. Then she must have introduced him to the man. She said something, 
and the man stepped up and shook Michael’s hand. They started talking. I 
couldn’t hear them, and since they weren’t doing anything I lay back down and 
read for a while. Rest period was almost over when I looked again. The car was 
gone, and there was no one in front of the Lodge. It was time for the semi-finals, 
and Michael hadn’t showed up. Robin, who was sort of in charge of the 
Colossians, told me to get Michael wherever he was; and I looked all over camp. 
He just wasn’t there. I didn’t have time to go up in the woods behind the cabins, 
but I yelled and there was no answer. So I had to give up because the game was 
waiting. Michael never came. A bttle fat boy named Billy Joe Moffitt took his 
place and we lost. Everybody wondered what had happened to Michael. I was 
sure that he hadn’t left camp with his mother because he would have told 


somebody first so after the game I ran back ahead of the others. Michael wasn’t 
on his bed. I walked through the hall and opened the bathroom door. He was 
standing at the window with his back to me. 

“Mike, why in the world didn’t you play?” 

He didn’t even turn around. 

“We lost, Mike.” 

He just stood there tying little knots in the shade cord. When the others came 
in from the game I met them at the door. I told them Michael was sick. 

He didn’t go to the campfire with me that night. He didn’t say much, and I 
didn’t know what to ask him. 

“Was that your mother this afternoon?” 


“What was she doing up here?” 

“On a vacation or something.” 

I don’t guess I should have asked him but I did. 

“Who was that with her?” 

“Some man. 1 don’t know. Just some man.” 

It was like every night. We were sitting in our place by the tree. The others 
were singing, and we were listening. Then he started talking very fast. 

“My mother said, ‘Michael, this is your new father. How do you like having 
two fathers?” 

Then before I could think what to say he said he was cold and got up and 
walked back to the cabin. I didn’t follow him. I didn’t even ask him if he was 
feeling all right. When I got to the cabin he was in bed, pretending to be asleep; 
but long after taps I could hear him turning. I tried to stay awake until he went 
to sleep. Once I sat up and started to reach out and touch him but 1 didn’t. I was 
very tired. 

All that was a week before the end of camp. The boys in our cabin started 
talking about him. He had stopped playing ball. He wouldn’t swim in the camp 
meet. He didn’t even go on the Sunday hike up to Johnson’s Knob. He sat on his 
bed with his clothes on most of the time. They never did anything nice for him. 
They were always doing things like tying his shoe laces together. It was no use 
trying to stop them. All they knew was that Michael Egerton had screwed their 
chance to be camp baseball champions. They didn’t want to know why, not even 
the counselor. And I wasn’t going to tell them. They even poured water on his 
mattress one night and laughed the whole next day about Michael wetting the 

The day before we left camp the counselors voted on a Camp Spirit Cabin. 
They had kept some sort of record of our activities and athletic events. The 

cabin with the most good-camper points usually won. We didn’t win. Robin and 
the others told Michael that he made us lose because he never did anything. 
They told everybody that Michael Egerton made our cabin lose. 

That night we were bathing and getting dressed for the Farewell Banquet. 
Nobody had expected Michael to go, but without saying anything he started 
getting dressed. Someone noticed him and said something about Mr. Michael 
honoring us with his presence at dinner. He had finished dressing when four of 
the boys tok him and tied him between two bunks with his arms stretched out. 
He didn’t fight. He let them treat him like some animal, and he looked just like 
he was crucified. Then they went to the banquet and left him tied there. I went 
with them, but while they were laughing about hamstringing that damned 
Michael I slipped away and went back to untie him. But when I got there he had 
already got loose. I knew that he was in the bathroom. I could hear him. I 
walked to the door and whispered, “Mike, it’s me.” I walked back out and down 
the hill to the dining hall. They even had the porch lights on, and they had 
already started singing. 



JFifea^’S Liamen?6 

I have stolen the sun from the moon’s black mouth 
But not without some loss of innocence. 

Be not against me Old Herodotus 

For when the wind whistles among the silent winter oaks 
A man must do 
What a man must do. 

1 know only that in the dark 
In the cool darkness 

There came a voice unlike any I had ever . . . 

And I was afraid. 

The sun is everything 
It is more than the light 
More than the image 

Which chases oblivion from the edges of the world 
Is the heart 
Of the new embryo 
Is life 

But only as long as the waking moment does innocence abide 
In the presence of death 
And to find 

(in the moon’s black shadow) 

That the presence 
Is real, indeed. 


An essential part 
Is .... a disappointment 

I live in the midst of all 

That is found in the shadow of the moon’s black mouth 
But I have stolen the sun. 


APRIL 1965 





North Carolina 27707 

Duke University Libraries